Pattaya Daily News

15 March 2011 :: 11:03:03 am 51562

Germany Shuts Down Nuclear Plants After Japan Crisis

BERLIN, Germany – Germany has responded to Japan nuclear power plant explosion by shutting down their nuke plants at an earlier time than planned.
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel commented in a news conference in Berlin, “The events in Japan have shown us that even things that seem all but impossible scientifically can in fact happen.”

Last year Merkel’s government announced that German’s 17 power plants would close 12 years later than planned. However, the government has been prompted to cancel the extension. Two older plants that had been due to close in the next three months are now likely to be shut after all.

The European Union (EU) has called an emergency meeting on Tuesday to review safety measures at nuclear reactors across Europe.

The EU said they wanted to assess the situation in Japan and evaluate the preparedness of Europe “in case of similar incidents”. The aim was to get “first-hand information on contingency plans and safety measures in place”.

On Monday the Swiss government also announced that their nuclear plants would be suspended because safety was the country’s first priority. Switzerland has four nuclear plants with five operational reactors. The regulatory authorities have now frozen the regulatory process for a further three sites.

However, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk stated that Poland would proceed with the country’s plans to build two new plants, considering that Poland did not have the same risk of earthquakes as Japan.

Germany decision to suspend the extended life policy of 17 power plants has caused much uproar from the opposing public.

Tens and thousands of German people protested against the Berlin’s government’s nuclear policy.

They formed a 45 km (27mile) human chain in the south-western state of Baden-Wuerttemberg from Stuttgart to one of the power plants affected by nuclear extension policy, at Neckarwestheim.

German voters go to the polls in Baden-Wuerttemberg later this month. Chancellor Merkels’ Christian Democrats are performing badly in opinion polls.

On Monday, after Merkel’s announcement, Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen said that two plants (dated back to mid-1970) would be closed down regardless of whether or not the extension was renewed in three months.

The Biblis power plant will be phased out by the end of May, while the Neckarwestheim plant will also close in the coming months.

Senior officials from all of Germany’s federal states plan to discuss nuclear issues with the chancellor and top ministers on Tuesday.

Report by: CNN, BBC

Photo : Internet   Category : World News

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