Germany to extend life of nuclear reactors: minister

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Germany will extend the life of its 17 nuclear reactors by 12 years on average, Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen announced Monday after marathon talks on the thorny issue.

The decision came after 12 hours of talks between senior politicians on the emotive issue and forms a key component of the future energy policy of Europe's largest economy.

The lives of the older plants will be extended by eight years and those of newer ones by 14 years, Roettgen said, adding that Germany would spend three billion euros annually to develop renewable energy.

Merkel's predecessor Gerhard Schroeder had decided to mothball the reactors by around 2020.

Merkel wanted to postpone the shutdown as part of a new "energy concept" for the country due to go before her cabinet on September 28.

© 2010 AFP

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