Austria welcomes German nuclear phase-out

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Austrian Environment Minister Nikolaus Berlakovich welcomed Monday Germany's decision to phase out nuclear power by 2022 in the wake of the disaster in Japan.

"This decision by a highly industrialised country will have a very strong signal effect. It shows that scrapping nuclear power is both possible and feasible," the minister said in a statement.

Austria has long been opposed to nuclear energy and does not have a single atomic power plant in operation.

The German decision, and a similar move in Switzerland, showed that a rethink is under way in Europe about atomic power, Berlakovich said.

"Germany's decision strengthens me in my conviction 'Move out of nuclear energy and into renewables'," he said.

© 2011 AFP

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