Merkel wants to accelerate nuclear phase-out

Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel wants to accelerate her country's phase out from nuclear power by fixing a precise date, according to business daily Handelsblatt.
Reuters reports that in a high-level meeting last week with Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen and her chief of staff Ronald Pofalla, Merkel pressed for an exact year when nuclear power will be taken off line, said the newspaper.
Merkel would like to have the nuclear plants switched off before the previous date of about 2022 agreed by the former centre-left government of Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, the report said.
Merkel's centre-right government extended that 2022 target date by about 12 years but she has signalled that extension would be scrapped.
So far, no date for an exit had been agreed upon by the centre-right coalition, the sources said. But Merkel now wants to shut down all nuclear power plants even faster than the 2022 date set by Schroeder's government.
In the wake of the nuclear disaster in Japan, Merkel switched from being a strong advocate to taking a tough line on nuclear energy.

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