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“Germany suspends power station extension plans as nuclear jitters spread” via Guardian

Germany today announced the temporary closure of its two oldest nuclear power stations and suspended plans to extend the life of all of the country’s remaining plants as jitters over nuclear power spread across the world.

Switzerland also put on hold plans to build and replace nuclear plants and Austria’s environment minister called for atomic stress tests to make sure Europe’s nuclear facilities are “earthquake-proof”. On Tuesday there will be an emergency meeting of European Union nuclear safety authorities and operators to assess Europe’s preparedness in case of an emergency.

After two hydrogen explosions at the Fukushima Daiichi reactor in Japan, the German chancellor Angela Merkel decided to re-examine her controversial decision last year to renew 17 nuclear plants for an average of 12 years. Merkel announced a “three-month moratorium” while each plant was given a thorough safety check.As a result, Germany’s two oldest nuclear power stations will be taken off the grid imminently, as they have already reached the end of their lifespan. They will only be reconnected if they pass strict safety checks, the chancellor said in Berlin.

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