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Germany Goes Un-Nuclear

Der Spiegel reports:

Chancellor Angela Merkel has announced the temporary shutdown of seven of Germany's 17 nuclear plants pending a three-month safety check in response to the Fukushima accident. Opposition parties say is it's a calculated move to allay public fear and avert defeat in three regional elections this month.

The current German government has rarely shown the kind of humility it has displayed this week, especially when it comes to nuclear policy. On Monday afternoon, a grim-faced Chancellor Angela Merkel faced the press and spoke of a "watershed for the whole world," and for Germany of course too. "Everything must be placed under review," Merkel said. "There must be no taboos." If there is any doubt, she said, safety must prevail.

The Japanese earthquake has caused a dramatic upheaval in German politics. The center-right coalition has put on hold the extension of lifetimes for the country's 17 nuclear plants. They were all due to be phased out by 2021, but Merkel decided to prolong their operation by an average of 12 years in a deeply controversial move last autumn.

The rest here.

Greg Pollowitz

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Germany Goes Un-Nuclear

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