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Germany reconsiders extending nuke plants' lifespan after Japan crisis

By the CNN Wire Staff
A protestor holds a placard reading 'Switch off nuclear power' during an anti-nuclear demonstration in Berlin on Monday.
A protestor holds a placard reading 'Switch off nuclear power' during an anti-nuclear demonstration in Berlin on Monday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • German Chancellor Merkel ordered a review of nuclear plant safety
  • Japan crisis showed things "all but impossible scientifically can in fact happen," Merkel says
  • Merkel previously supported extending lifespan of Germany's nuclear power plants
RELATED TOPICS
  • Angela Merkel
  • Germany

Berlin, Germany (CNN) -- The Japan nuclear power plant crisis prompted German Chancellor Angela Merkel to rethink a plan to extend the lifespan of her country's nuclear power plants, Merkel said Monday.

"The events in Japan have shown us that even things that seem all but impossible scientifically can in fact happen," Merkel said at a news conference in Berlin.

Friday's earthquake and tsunami led to problems at three Japanese nuclear power plants, one of which remained a serious concern on Monday.

Crews struggled to keep damaged the nuclear plants under control amid fears of possible radiation releases.

Merkel announced a three-month moratorium on the extension of the nuclear plant's lifespan, which had been approved in a law her administration supported.

She ordered a review of the nuclear plant safety standards, saying there would be "no taboos in those reviews."

The government will meet with the power companies that own the nuclear plants to discuss their future, she said.

CNN's Frederik Pleitgen contributed to this report.