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German Minister Seeks Faster Nuclear Phase-Out, Stern Says

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March 16 (Bloomberg) -- Germany should abandon nuclear power sooner than foreseen under current law, Stern magazine quoted Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen as saying in an interview.

Germany will probably use nuclear power for another 10-15 years, Stern cited Roettgen as saying in an e-mailed preview of an article in this week’s edition. If a planned safety review finds unacceptable risks at any German nuclear plant, it should be shut down, Roettgen, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, told the magazine.

Merkel’s coalition last year extended the life of German nuclear-power stations by an average of 12 years, saying more time was needed to shift to renewable energy sources. All plants had been slated for closure by about 2022 under legislation passed by a previous government. Merkel on March 14 announced a three month moratorium on the extension for safety checks to carried out in light of the disaster in Japan.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tony Czuczka in Berlin at aczuczka@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net

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