Will all nuclear power plants in Germany be shut down in 2022?

Germany is planning to phase out nuclear energy completely this year. However, there are concerns about energy prices and network stability. This market resolves to YES if no nuclear power plants are running by Dec 31st, 2022, and if there are no concrete plans to start one again (e.g., if a reactor is scheduled to be kept working, but is incidentally down for maintenance on Dec 31st, this market will be resolved NO).

Sep 7, 6:41pm: Just for clarification - a reactor being "in reserve" does NOT count as "shut down" for the purpose of this market (unless someone makes a very convincing counterargument).

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SamuelRichardson avatar
Samuel Richardson
predicted NO at 5%
RyanMoulton avatar
Ryan Moulton
bought Ṁ20 of NO

BERLIN (AP) — Government says Germany will keep 2 of its 3 remaining nuclear power plants running until April 2023.


mndrix avatar
Michael Hendricks
predicted YES at 6%

One nuclear plant operator in Germany thinks that the plan to keep these plants open is not technically feasible: https://www.dw.com/en/germany-dispute-over-nuclear-reserve-deepens/a-63047247 I think there's enough legal and technical uncertainty to justify a 10% chance that the plants all close before the end of 2022.

MP avatar
predicted NO at 6%

Why is it so low?

Chocobo avatar
sold Ṁ118 of YES


Two of the three remaining German nuclear power plants are to be in reserve to supply electricity until next spring.

In order to keep the reactors in southern Germany in reserve, however, a change in the law is necessary, Habeck said.

mndrix avatar
Michael Hendricks
bought Ṁ20 of YES

The stress test [is done but not finalized](https://app.handelsblatt.com/politik/deutschland/energieversorgungskrise-stresstest-laengere-laufzeiten-fuer-akw-wahrscheinlich-zwei-meiler-koennten-am-netz-bleiben/28650326.html) ([English translation](https://app-handelsblatt-com.translate.goog/politik/deutschland/energieversorgungskrise-stresstest-laengere-laufzeiten-fuer-akw-wahrscheinlich-zwei-meiler-koennten-am-netz-bleiben/28650326.html?_x_tr_sl=auto&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en&_x_tr_pto=wapp). Unofficially it looks like two nuclear plants have a higher chance of staying open than before. Officially "there are no conclusions" yet.

I'm updating closer to 30%. I think there are still substantial hurdles legally, politically, and logistically for the plants to remain open.

BTE avatar
bought Ṁ250 of NO

Germany has extended life of final 3 reactors beyond the end of the year

BTE avatar
predicted NO at 32%

@MartinRandall My bad! Should have kept reading!!

mndrix avatar
Michael Hendricks
bought Ṁ30 of YES

Germany's Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection says[1] that the Wall Street Journal's report is incorrect. Google Translate of the original:

“This report is incorrect and lacks any factual basis. I can also point out that the stress test to check the stability of the power grid is still ongoing.”

Opinion polls in Germany about nuclear power have changed in the last 6 months, but I don't see that anything else has changed. I'm updating closer to 40% chance of this market resolving Yes (previously I was nearer to 50%).

1: https://www.bmwk.de/Redaktion/DE/Pressemitteilungen/2022/08/20220816-sprecherin-bmwk-zum-bericht-des-wallstreet-journals.html

mndrix avatar
Michael Hendricks
bought Ṁ10 of YES
Metaculus market[1] implies 48% Yes. Leaders of German power companies think that it's not feasible to keep the plants open[2]. German shutdown of nuclear has 20 years of inertia behind it. I doubt they could stop it in 10 months even if they wanted to. It's also not clear that nuclear can substitute for natural gas in the way Germany would need. Gas provides energy for peaking plants[3] and nuclear provides base load capacity. Keeping the nuclear plants open probably wouldn't help anything, except perhaps some political careers. 1: https://www.metaculus.com/questions/10004/german-nuclear-power/ 2: https://www.wsj.com/livecoverage/russia-ukraine-latest-news-2022-02-26/card/4u3kJkDIz9CSmqYUUviA 3: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peaking_power_plant#:~:text=Peaker%20plants%20are%20generally%20gas%20turbines%20or%20gas,limited%20to%20areas%20not%20supplied%20with%20natural%20gas.
MartinRandall avatar
Martin Randall
predicted NO at 14%

@mndrix France has 70% nuclear power so it's clear that a country can have a high proportion of nuclear power without running into problems from a lack of peaking capacity.

mndrix avatar
Michael Hendricks
predicted YES at 14%

@MartinRandall Agreed. High rates of nuclear are fine. High rates of renewables are what requires peaking capacity. France has ~20% renewable and Germany has ~40%, so their needs are different.

MartinRandall avatar
Martin Randall
predicted NO at 14%

@mndrix Sure. But Germany is currently burning coal as well as gas, so it can at least absorb enough nuclear to shut down its coal plants. I'm not sure how many power plants that comes to, but it's at least one.