Chancellor Angela Merkel has rejected a call from Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel for older German nuclear power stations to be shut down earlier than planned.
In comments to the Frankfurter Rundschau daily newspaper to be published Wednesday, Merkel says that she sees no chance under current legislation for the kind of trade-off proposed by Gabriel.
The Christian Democrat (CDU) chancellor, however, backs the coalition deal hammered out with her Social Democrat (SPD) coalition partners two years ago that provides for all 17 nuclear plants to shut by 2022.
Gabriel, an SPD member, wants the seven older power stations, dating back to the 1970s, to be shut earlier than planned, in exchange for allowing the newer plants to extend their operating lives.
He cites safety concerns - reducing the threat of terrorist attack and cutting the risk of a major nuclear accident - as the reason.
The electricity generating companies are resisting Gabriel's scheme.
Last Mod: 04 Eylül 2007, 18:29