30 May 2011

Germany to shut all nuclear plants by 2022

9:18 pm on 30 May 2011

Germany's ruling coalition has agreed to shut down all of the country's nuclear power plants by 2022.

Chancellor Angela Merkel set up an ethics panel to look into nuclear power following the disaster at a Japanese power plant in March.

The Tokyo Electric Power Company has been trying to contain radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi plant in northeast Japan crippled by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami on 11 March.

Last year Ms Merkel announced an extension to the life of Germany's nuclear energy network which would see the last reactor closing 25 years from now.

But the Fukushima disaster has changed all that, the BBC reports, reinforcing public concern about nuclear power.

The seven oldest nuclear power stations were taken off-line in March and are now closing permanently.

The last of Germany's 17 atomic plants will shut by 2022. But with roughly a quarter of the country's power coming from nuclear, industry leaders have voiced concern about shortages.

The decision makes Germany the biggest industrial power to give up nuclear energy.