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Germany to Close All Nuclear Plants

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TEHRAN, April 16 (ICANA) – Germany is speeding up plans to close all of its nuclear reactors as criticism over the government's nuclear plans has grown since the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster in Japan.
Saturday, April 16, 2011 11:52:03 PM
Germany to Close All Nuclear Plants

Chancellor Angela Merkel invited the 16 German state premiers to the capital Berlin to discuss the country's energy policy, a Press TV correspondent in Berlin reported Friday.

"We plan to phase out our nuclear energy and go for renewable energy," Merkel said to the premiers.

Germany has shut down eight of its oldest nuclear reactors for a 90-day security assessment after the March 11 earthquake in Japan brought about the massive nuclear crisis in the Asian country.

Germany's upper house, dominated by the opposition Social Democrats, called for the immediate closure of the eight reactors.

The latest polls indicate that 76 percent of Germans prefer all 17 nuclear reactors in the country to be decommissioned.

"We really have to phase out the nuclear energy and do our best to move towards renewable energy, Claudia Roth of the Green Party told Press TV.

Outside the chancellery, several hundred people protested against the use of nuclear energy. Large nationwide demonstrations are expected for the 25th anniversary of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster next week.

“Germany needs to take leadership and to move us as quickly as possible to a hundred percent renewable clean, safe energy," Kumi Naidoo with the Greenpeace International said.

Germany's Economy Minister Rainer Bruederle has warned that replacing nuclear energy with renewable sources may cost the country as much as two billion euros each year.

German opposition leader in the parliament has asked to assemble a special committee on energy transition.

"We never had this kind of chaos and insecurity in our energy policy. We cannot build a future on this," Frank-Walter Steinmeier with the Social Democratic Party of Germany said.

German Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen announced the government would offer five billion euros in soft loans to help investments in offshore wind power.

Nuclear power accounts for about a quarter of Germany's energy supply.

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