Germany will phase out all nuclear plants in the country by 2022, the coalition government announced on Monday.
Announcing the decision, which is a reversal of policy, Environment Minister Norbert Rottgen said a plan for the phased killing of all nuclear plants in the country is in place.
It's definite. The latest end for the last three nuclear power plants is 2022. There will be no clause for revision, Rottgen said, according to BBC.
According to Rottgen seven oldest reactors, which have been offline ever since the Fukushima nuclear crisis erupted following the Japanese earthquake-tsunami, will be permanently shut down. Another plant in northern Germany, which has faced technical problems, will also be shut down.
As many as six reactors are scheduled for shutdown by 2021 while another one will be wound up 2022.
The latest decision by the Angela Merkel-led coalition is an about-face by the government. Last year the government reversed the decision of the previous SPD-led government to scrap nuclear plants in the country and offered a 12-year life-line to several reactors.
However, after the Fukushima nuclear crisis erupted public opinion swing widely against nuclear power, forcing the government to rethink on its stance.
Germany relied on nuclear power for 23 percent of its energy as of March, according to BBC. The important question now is how the country will address the huge shortfall in supply once the nuclear facilities are fully decommissioned.
The government’s version is that it will be possible to cut usage by 10 percent over the next decade by suing more energy-efficient machinery and buildings, BBC’s Stephen Evans said in analysis. He says there are plans to hike investment in wind power.