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Germany's nuclear plants to shut down by 2022

Other power-hungry countries unlikely to follow German reactor decision

Germany is set to turn its back on nuclear power. On 30 May, Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that all 17 of Germany's nuclear power plants will be shut down by 2022. The decision reversed an earlier one extending reactor lifetimes to 2036. Nuclear power supplies nearly a quarter of Germany’s electricity. Germany’s exit from nuclear power won’t, however, spark a stampede. It reflects conditions that are specific to the country, including Merkel’s weak political position and Germany’s uneasy relationship with nuclear energy. “This irrational action can only be explained by the quirks of German parliamentary politics,” John Ritch, director general of the World Nuclear Association, said. “

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