Germany's politicians and bosses of the country's utilities agreed on Monday to put off any decisions on the one energy issue that generates tension inside the governing coalition -- the future of atomic power.Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy, Nuclear Power, Environment, Energy, Politics, Economics, Electricity, Germany, GHG, Coal
"We discussed the fact that internationally nuclear energy is taking on an increasing significance. But at the same time we have a coalition agreement that sticks to phasing out nuclear energy," Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters after the government's second "energy summit".
She said discussion of the issue would be pushed back to the next energy summit in March and reiterated that the law requiring the gradual closure of all of Germany's nuclear power stations by the early 2020s remained in force.
Some in Merkel's camp have made no attempt to hide a desire to reopen the issue of phasing out nuclear energy, arguing that it would harm Germany's competitiveness as an energy producer. The utilities would also like to keep their reactors running.
Nuclear power, which supplies a third of German electricity, produces virtually no harmful carbon dioxide emissions.