The option to keep spare nuclear capacity as a reserve should power systems be overstretched during the winter months was yesterday dismissed by Germany’s energy regulator.

About 8,800 MW of Germany’s nuclear capacity was shut down following the Japanese nuclear disaster in March, however there had previously been speculation as to whether any would be reopened during periods of power shortages.

President of the federal network agency, Mathias Kurth has confirmed that hard-coal fired plants in a number of locations could provide additional power in such instances.

A total of 41 percent of Germany’s nuclear capacity has been absorbed but this could change under unfavourable weather conditions in the converging central European power markets.

Baden Wuerttemberg state said last Friday it had offered to re-permission an old coal-fired power unit, block 3 of 220 MW at Mannheim plant GKM, to function as reserve within two months.

“We’ve been spared the necessity to reactivate a nuclear power station,” the president of the federal network agency, Kurth said.

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