Germany decides to abandon nuclear power by 2022 -

Germany decides to abandon nuclear power by 2022

BERLIN (AP) -- Germany's environment minister says Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition government has agreed to shut down all of the country's nuclear power plants by 2022.  

Norbert Roettgen also says the seven oldest reactors taken off the grid pending safety inspections following Japan's Fukushima nuclear disaster in March will remain offline permanently. 

He says all but the three newest reactors will be shut down by 2021, and the remainder a year later. 

Roettgen announced the agreement early Monday morning after hour-long negotiations between the governing parties.  

Merkel in 2010 had pushed through to extend the lifespan of the country's 17 reactors with the last one scheduled to go offline in 2036, but she completely reversed her policy in the wake of Japan's nuclear disaster.  

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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