Merkel's Victory Brightens Germany's Nuclear Future

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"It is now likely that Germany's 17 nuclear power plants. . .will have their lives extended for 10 to 15 years."

Germany's nuclear phase-out policy looks set for revision after Angela Merkel's party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), won the German federal elections by a comfortable majority. It is now likely that Germany's 17 nuclear power plants—all due to be shut down by 2022—will have their lives extended for 10 to 15 years.

The results of the federal elections, which took place on September 27th, gave a majority to the CDU, 33.5%, while the socialist party (SPD) suffered a defeat with its worst result since the war, around 23%. The Free Democrats (FDP), ranked third with 14.5% of the vote. The left-wing, Die Linke, collected 13% of the vote and the Greens, Die Grüne, received 10%.

Merkel has outlined plans to form a swift coalition with the FDP. Before the election, both parties said they will introduce a new nuclear law and allow the nuclear power plants to operate longer than the 32 years fixed by the former red-green government.

Shares in German utilities E.ON and RWE rose by more than 4%, amid hopes that the new administration would decide to extend the life of the reactor fleet.

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