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    Germany To Be Nuclear-Free by 2022


    by NTDTelevision

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    Germany has decided to switch off all its nuclear power stations by 2022. The move is intended to turn Europe's largest economy into a frontrunner for creating renewable energy and jobs. Let's find out more.

    Time's running out for the Biblis nuclear power plant in Germany.

    It and the country's other 16 nuclear reactors will be closed by 2022.

    The Fukushima disaster in Japan led Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition government to do a rapid policy U-turn, only nine months after Merkel said she was going to extend the plants' lifespan by over a decade.

    Now the government has decided to phase out nuclear over the next ten years.

    [Angela Merkel, German Chancellor]:
    "This path is a big challenge for Germany but it also means huge opportunities for future generations. We believe that our country can become a frontrunner for the creation of renewable energy and as the first large industrial nation, we can create such a change towards highly efficient and renewable energies, with all its opportunities for export, developments and technology which create jobs."

    The decision could still face opposition from utilities companies.

    But nuclear power has long been unpopular in Germany and is opposed by most voters.

    Just hours before the government made the decision - over 150 thousand people took to the streets of several German cities to march against atomic energy.

    Nuclear provided almost a quarter of Germany's overall power before the seven oldest stations were shut down in March in the wake of Japan's earthquake and tsunami.

    The country's Ethics Commission was also set up at that time to review urgently Germany's entire energy strategy - it's jointly led by Matthias Kleiner, who's in favour of a nuclear exit.