ROME, July 15 (UPI) -- A decision from Berlin to phase out nuclear power is an opportunity for German power company RWE to reach out to Russia's Gazprom, a Russian official said.
RWE and Russian gas company Gazprom said they were discussing a joint venture in Germany after signing a memorandum of understanding on power generation in Europe.
"In light of recent decisions by the German government to reduce their nuclear power programs, we see good prospects for the construction of new modern gas-fired power plants in Germany," said Gazprom chief Alexei Miller in a statement.
The March 11 magnitude-9 earthquake that crippled the nuclear reactors in northern Japan sparked global concerns about the safety of nuclear energy.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that eight of the country's 17 nuclear reactors would shut down this year. The remaining plants would close by 2022.
RWE had called on Merkel to adjust the plan because it said that schedule wouldn't give the company enough time to use all of its power-production quotas.
German energy companies E.ON and RWE said they were considering legal action in the wake of Merkel's announcement.
RWE announced in June that its Biblis Block B nuclear power plant won't return to service.