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Merkel lauds Germany's nuclear phase-out plan
by Staff Writers
Berlin (AFP) March 10, 2012

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday lauded her country's decision to phase out nuclear power, speaking on the eve of the first anniversary of Japan's Fukushima disaster.

"We have seen the risks in a highly developed industrial country, risks which we considered impossible -- or speaking for myself, I considered impossible," she said in an interview posted on the government's website.

"I think that quite a large part of the (German) population is in favour of the phasing out of nuclear energy by 2022," she added.

In March last year, Europe's leading economy decided to immediately shut down its eight oldest nuclear reactors and to take nine others out of service by the end of 2022.

"We have a good chance of becoming leaders in other markets, for example in the market of renewable energy sources, and that could work out very well for us in the future," she said.

Japan on Sunday marks the first anniversary of the huge earthquake and tsunami that devastated its northeast coast, left more than 19,000 people dead or missing and sparked a nuclear crisis at Fukushima, the world's worst atomic disaster since Chernobyl in Ukraine in 1986.

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Japan cabinet was warned of Fukushima meltdown
Tokyo (AFP) March 10, 2012
Top Japanese cabinet ministers were warned of possible nuclear meltdowns at Fukushima hours after the tsunami hit last March, government papers have revealed, despite repeatedly denying the risk in public. A summary of a government meeting held about four hours after a giant earthquake sent huge waves crashing into the atomic power station showed that one unidentified participant had caution ... read more

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