“Angela Merkel has committed to shutting down all of the country’s nuclear reactors by 2022, a task said by one minister to be as mammoth as the project to reunite East and West Germany in 1990,” according to the Guardian newspaper.
“Monday’s announcement, prompted by Japan’s nuclear disaster, will make Germany the first major industrialised nation to go nuclear-free in decades. It gives the country just over 10 years to find alternative sources for 23% of its energy.
“The move, hammered out at a mammoth 14-hour overnight sitting at the Kanzleramt, came amid mass nationwide protests against nuclear power and at a low point for the chancellor’s Christian Democratic party (CDU), support for which has crumbled at the ballot box in five regional elections this year.
“Although the proposal was welcomed among the general population, who have long been opposed to nuclear power, it was a move derided by one of Merkel’s own MPs as “knee-jerk politics”.
“The plan is to keep shut eight reactors which were suspended in March in the immediate aftermath of the Fukushima disaster, and to close the rest by 2022.
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