Future plans for nuclear power were top of the agenda as parliament met in Germany, in the wake of the crisis in Japan.
Chancellor Angela Merkel sought to calm fears that a similar disaster could happen in Germany. She also defended her government’s policy on nuclear power.
Merkel told parliament that German nuclear plants are among the safest in the world and refused to stop the nuclear programme, which would put Germany in the position of having to import nuclear power from other countries.
Merkel added she would not abandon her plan to extend the lives of Germany’s nuclear power plants, saying what’s needed is a measured phase-out.
On Tuesday, Merkel ordered all pre-1980 nuclear plants to be be closed for three months for safety checks. Political opponents have accused her of suspending an unpopular policy in the hope of avoiding defeat in regional elections later this month.