German plans to shut all nuclear reactors by 2022 are being seen as a major U-turn by Chancellor Angela Merkel.
In nine months she has gone from supporting nuclear plants as a safe bridge to renewable energy to pushing an exit strategy that rivals those of the Greens.
“Step by step, we will abandon nuclear energy by the end of 2022,” said Merkel.
“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 front-runner for the creation of renewable energy.”
Polls show that most Germans dislike nuclear energy. Indeed thousands recently demonstrated against its use. Most see Merkel’s move as a response to Japan’s nuclear crisis as well as a string of disastrous election results.