photo by א (Wikimedia Commons)

According to legislation passed in 2002 by the Social Democratic-Green Party coalition, all nuclear power stations in Germany are to be decommissioned by 2022.

However, according to a recent television interview, current German Chancellor Angela Merkel of the Christian Democratic Union plans to extend this deadline by another 10-15 years.

From a report in Deutsche Welle:

The chancellor, citing an independent consultants’ report set to be published this week, said such a time frame would ensure Germany’s energy needs are met as the country transitions to renewable energy sources. Energy prices would remain under control and goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions would be reached with an extra 10 to 15 years of nuclear power, Merkel added.

The opposition Social Democrats criticize this move as being strongly influenced by the nuclear power lobby. Polls also show that a majority (56%) of Germans are in favor of closing the plants by 2021.

Merkel has stated that she would like to enact the extension without the approval of the German upper house of parliament, something that has provoked a legal debate.

Despite this planned concession, Merkel’s government is not the darling of the nuclear industry.

From a Reuters report:

Germany has 17 nuclear plants, whose operators are embroiled in a scrap with Merkel’s government over a planned nuclear power tax the government hopes will contribute 2.3 billion euros ($2.93 billion) per year to an austerity programme.

For nuclear power news and information from around the world, check out the Nuclear power section of the Guardian.