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Germany Shuts Down Seven Nuclear Reactors

Nuclear reactors shut down in germany

March 15: The 35-year-old nuclear plant of Neckarwestheim, Germany, is pictured. German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced seven of the country's reactors that went into operation before the end of 1980 will temporarily go offline. (AP)

BERLIN -- Chancellor Angela Merkel says Germany will take seven of its 17 reactors offline for three months while the country reconsiders plans to extend the life of its nuclear power plants.

Merkel said Tuesday that Germany will temporarily shut down reactors that went into operation before the end of 1980, affecting seven reactors. The decision comes amid fears sparked by the crisis under way at Japan's tsunami-stricken nuclear power plant.

Merkel spoke after meeting with the governors of states that have nuclear power plants.

A previous government decided a decade ago to shut all 17 German nuclear plants by 2021, but Merkel's administration last year moved to extend their lives by an average 12 years. That decision was suspended for three months on Monday.