Germany to exit nuclear power by 2022

BERLIN, May 30 (Xinhua) — The German government announced early Monday a plan to shut down all its 17 nuclear power plants by 2022 after a twelve-hour discussion within the ruling coalition.

Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen said the seven oldest nuclear power plants, which had already been suspended after the Fukushima disaster in March, and the Kruemmel nuclear power plant will be permanently shut down.

He said another six plants will be closed by 2021, while the newest three power stations will be kept operating until 2022 as standby power, in case for a possible shortage of power supply after the shutdown of all nuclear power plants, which generate about 23 percent of the country’s all energy.

“This decision is consistent, decisive and clear,” Roettgen said, “There will be no clause for revision.”

This decision has overthrown the plan approved by the German government last year to extend the deadline for its nuclear power plants to around 2035 from 2022 which was made by its predecessor.

Since Japan’s nuclear crisis, voices of phasing-out nuclear power from German public and opposition parties have risen to an unprecedented high level, pushing Germany’s Green party to win the local election of state Baden-Wuerttemberg, which was a stronghold for the conservatives.

To facilitate policy adjustment, German Chancellor Angela Merkel also assigned two commissions to inspect German nuclear power plants from technical and ethical sides in March.

The ethical commission provided a report to Merkel on Saturday, which says to make Germany exit nuclear power within 10 years. The report will be made public on Monday.

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