The German government on Tuesday temporarily idled seven of the country's 17 nuclear power stations as chancellor Angela Merkel and governors of the country's federal states launched a three-month review of energy policy.
After meeting the governors of the five regions home that are home to nuclear-power plants, Ms Merkel said she had issued a government security decree to suspend from electricity production all nuclear plants built before 1980, Financial Times says.
Germany, which relies on reactors for 23 percent of its power, is the first European country to take such measures after explosions at Japan's Fukushima plant sparked safety concerns. German electricity, a European benchmark, rose on the outlook for lower supply while European Union carbon dioxide permits gained as utilities may burn more fossil fuels to meet demand.
Germany's move raises the prospect of a nuclear-free Europe, said Guenther Oettinger, the European Union energy commissioner, in an interview with ARD television today.
"It has to raise the question of whether we in Europe, in the foreseeable future, can secure our energy needs without nuclear power," he said before a meeting with European energy ministers, company executives and regulators in Brussels to discuss reactor safety, Bloomberg reports.