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German minister rejects nuclear plant extension beyond winter

BERLIN, Sept 28 (Reuters) - German Environment Minister Steffi Lemke ruled out extending the lifespans of two nuclear plants beyond the coming winter after the government said it was planning for them to stay operational for three months longer than previously planned.

Germany had intended to complete a phase-out of nuclear power by the end of this year but a collapse in energy supplies from Russia because of the war in Ukraine has prompted the government to keep two plants on standby until April.

"I rule out extending the running time beyond the coming winter and the necessary purchase of new fuel elements," said Lemke, a member of the Greens party, in a statement on Wednesday. (Writing by Madeline Chambers, editing by Rachel More)