The Ethics Commission appointed by Mrs. Merkel said that rather than being damaged by the abandonment of nuclear power, the German economy could benefit from the reduction of energy use and the development of alternative power sources.
"A withdrawal from nuclear power will spur growth, offer enormous technical, economic and social opportunities to position Germany even further as an exporter of sustainable products and services," said the panel's 28-page report, which was seen by The International Herald Tribune. "Germany could show that a withdrawal from nuclear energy is the chance to create a high-powered economy."
But while citing the economic benefits of a withdrawal from nuclear power, the commission emphasized that Germany's 17 nuclear plants should be closed for safety reasons. "The withdrawal is necessary to fundamentally eliminate risks," it said.
The commission also said it would be unacceptable for Germany to ration electricity, import power from nuclear plants in other countries or increase carbon dioxide emissions. "There is an ethical responsibility to combat climate change," it said.