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German Ex-Chancellor Schroeder Lauds Nuclear Halt, Zeit Says

Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, whose government introduced a withdrawal from nuclear energy, lauded his successor’s decision to place a moratorium on an extension of atomic power, Die Zeit newspaper reported.

“It makes me very happy when people are adaptable,” Schroeder told the newspaper in an interview. “It’s welcome social progress when others are capable of recognizing that we need to exit nuclear energy as quickly as possible.”

Chancellor Angela Merkel last week declared the three-month moratorium to conduct a risk analysis of Germany’s 17 reactors after the Japanese nuclear disaster in Fukushima, putting the brakes on an extension of reactor lifespans that was a bedrock of her government’s energy policy. Schroeder told Die Zeit that a political moratorium was no replacement for new legislation.

“Of course it would have been better to say that the extension was a mistake that we’re taking back,” Schroeder was cited as saying. Schroeder passed legislation to phase out nuclear energy by about 2022 when his Social Democrats led a coalition with the environmental Greens party from 1998 to 2005.

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