German nuclear phase-out law "on track"

Antagonists clash at statutory hearings but government set to finalise new rules before elections

Supporters and opponents of Germany's planned phase-out of nuclear power clashed at two hearings this week. But the government remains on track to finalise a legal basis for the shutdown by early next year, according to official sources. The debates follow the government-industry deal in June on an agreed approach to ending the role of atomic energy in Germany (EED 12/06/01).

At an event on Monday, environmental and consumer NGOs complained that the agreement allowed nuclear power stations to operate for too long, thus increasing safety risks. Groups called the process a sham, alleging that the government would not risk making changes in case power firms denounced the consensus.

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