After talks that stretched deep into the night Germany’s coalition government has agreed to shut all its nuclear plants in response to Japan’s Fukushima accident.
The decision marks a drastic policy turnaround.
Germany temporarily closed seven reactors in March, just after Japan’s earthquake and tsunami sent shockwaves through the industry.
German Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen explained the decision:
“Regarding the closing of nuclear power plants our agreement entails that the seven old nuclear power plants, that were affected by the moratorium, and also the nuclear power plant Kruemmel, will no longer be on the network. A second group of six nuclear power plants will be taken off the grid by 2021 at the latest, and the three most modern nuclear power plants will be taken off the grid by 2022.”
The German decision still has to go through parliament, but opposition parties the Social Democrats and Greens were present at the meeting to ensure a broad consensus.
The announcement will be music to the ears of the tens of thousands of Germans who want an end to nuclear power in the country.