German panel to endorse closing nuclear plants - Reuters

A panel appointed by the German government to advise on nuclear power strategy will recommend that the countries' seven oldest reactors be closed indefinitely, a document obtained by Reuters showed.
 
In a draft of its final report to be released at the end of May, the commission also said that Germany could cope without nuclear power by 2021. There are alternatives to nuclear power that "all entail fewer risks," the panel said in the draft.
 
German Chancellor Angela Merkel reversed a decision to extend the life of nuclear plants after the massive earthquake and tsunami of March 11 hit Japanese nuclear plants.
 
She imposed a three-month moratorium on operation of the oldest seven of Germany's 17 nuclear plants, ordered safety checks on all reactors and asked a commission chaired by former environment minister Klaus Toepfer to make recommendations on the industry.
 
Nuclear power has long been unpopular in Germany and Merkel's decision last year to extend the life of nuclear plants was a major factor in her party losing power after 60 years in a prosperous conservative state in March.
 
The draft was first reported by German paper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
 

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