Could Japan’s tragedy be used as a wake-up call for other countries? Germany has decided to close some of it’s oldest nuclear reactors for safety checks after Japan’s nuclear crisis. The Wall Street Journal reports:
Germany said it would shut down its seven oldest nuclear reactors during a three-month “safety review,” a surprise reversal by Chancellor Angela Merkel whose government just months ago vouched for the plants’ safety.
Ms. Merkel’s center-right government, which already said on Monday that it would suspend a lifespan extension for country’s nuclear reactors, responded to growing public unease over nuclear power amid the Japanese crisis by agreeing to shut down the oldest of those plants. The sudden shift reflects concern within Ms. Merkel’s Christian Democratic party that it has been on the wrong side of an emotional political issue that analysts say could tip the balance in several upcoming regional elections.
Ms. Merkel said production at seven reactors built before 1980 will be wound down before June 15 as the government reviews a plan it set last fall to extend the life of some of the country’s 17 reactors by as much as 14 years. The government said it hasn’t decided whether to restart the plants after the moratorium, but given the deep public skepticism over the aging plants, bringing them back online would be extremely controversial.
[Continues at The Wall Street Journal]