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Nuclear debate heats up in Germany

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Nuclear debate heats up in Germany

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Opposition parties and the Greens in Germany have reacted angrily to the government’s decision to put a hold on deciding the future of nuclear power in the country.

Protesters held a rally in central Berlin saying a three month moratorium on what to do with the country’s 17 nuclear plants was insufficient and politically motivated.

Chancellor Angela Merkel says she now wants to suspend last year’s controversial agreement to prolong the life of the plants while the consequences of the Japanese earthquake are assessed.

“ This is a moratorium and it stands for three months. What this means for individual power plants, well we are talking about that with the operating companies,“said the chancellor.

Her proposal to close temporarily the ageing Neckarwestheim plant in the state of Barden Wuerttemberg just before crucial elections has also sparked criticism.

Last week protesters staged yet another protest to get the Neckarwestheim plant closed.

According to a previous agreement over turned by Merkel, it would already have been taken off line.The Japanese crisis has reopened heated debate.