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Germany proposes early nuclear shutdowns

Sept. 1, 2007 at 1:29 PM

BERLIN, Sept. 1 (UPI) -- Germany’s environment minister says the country’s seven oldest nuclear reactors should be shut down immediately.

Germany has pledged to phase out nuclear power by 2020, but Sigmar Gabriel said recent mechanical issues at two aging plants indicate older reactors should be switched off right away.

According to the BBC, such a move would likely be opposed by the plants’ unions. There also are concerns about Germany’s energy supply given Russia’s aggressive policy on natural gas shipped to Western Europe, the British network said.

Gabriel, however, proposed that newer plants be allowed to continue running past 2020.