Germany has announced plans to delay the phasing-out of its two nuclear power plants after Russia stopped its gas supply to the country.

German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said that the two nuclear power plants will help the country maintain its energy security amid the ongoing gas supply crisis with Russia

Two nuclear power facilities, Neckarwestheim in Baden Württemberg and Isar 2 in Bavaria, will serve as an emergency reserve until mid-April next year.

Media sources quoted Habeck as saying: “Hourly crisis-like situations in the electricity supply system during winter 2022/23, while very unlikely, cannot be fully ruled out.”

CNBC reported that the two nuclear power facilities will be on standby, with all their employees in place, and would only generate electricity if necessary.

The nuclear facilities were due to be phased out by the end of this year, but the decision to keep them on stand-by comes after Russia refused to turn on the fifth and last functioning turbine on the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline.

The Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline had been used to supply gas from Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea.

Habeck added that droughts in Europe over recent months have reduced the water levels in Germany’s rivers and lakes, weakening hydroelectric power and making it harder to supply coal to coal-fired power plants.

The Minister noted that Germany’s membership of the European Union had partly motivated its decision to delay phasing out the nuclear plants.

Last month, Germany and Denmark agreed to increase the capacity of Bornholm Energy Island, an offshore wind hub located in the Danish part of the Baltic Sea.

Bornholm Energy Island will supply enough clean energy to power nearly 4.5 million homes in Germany while increasing the electricity trade between the two countries.

Its capacity will be increased from 2GW to 3GW under the terms of the agreement.