Merkel questions plan to close nuclear plants

10th January 2007, Comments 0 comments

10 January 2007Berlin (dpa) - Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday questioned plans to close all German nuclear power stations by 2021 as agreed under the country's previous centre-left government. Merkel told reporters that Germany - which has few indigenous sources of energy - needed to ensure as wide a variety of energy suppliers as possible. "One-third of German electricity comes from nuclear plants," said Merkel at a news conference, adding: "We must either replace this or reduce (use of energy)." Me

10 January 2007

Berlin (dpa) - Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday questioned plans to close all German nuclear power stations by 2021 as agreed under the country's previous centre-left government.

Merkel told reporters that Germany - which has few indigenous sources of energy - needed to ensure as wide a variety of energy suppliers as possible.

"One-third of German electricity comes from nuclear plants," said Merkel at a news conference, adding: "We must either replace this or reduce (use of energy)."

Merkel's coalition of her Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) and former chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's Social Democrats (SPD) has agreed to keep in place legislation mandating closure of all nuclear plants.

The measure, agreed in 2001 under Schroeder's SPD-Greens government, includes a deal with energy companies to end use of nuclear power by 2021.

But Merkel and much of the CDU/CSU continue to back nuclear power and there is widespread speculation that the conservatives would let nuclear plants stay in operation if they manage set up a future government without the SPD.

"There cannot be any ban on thinking," said Merkel.

Russia's cut-off of oil flowing to Germany via a pipeline through Belarus this week has further raised Berlin's alarm over dependency on foreign energy sources.

DPA

                                          Subject: German news

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