Tens of thousands of Germans have held anti-nuclear rallies, demanding the government disband atomic energy and increase safety standards.

The fresh protests took place in the cities of Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and Cologne following the nuclear crisis in Japan triggered by the earthquake and tsunami, a Press TV correspondent in Berlin reported.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was quick to react to the catastrophe in Japan, announcing a three-month moratorium on extending the lifespan of Germany's nuclear power plants.

Still, demonstrators took to the streets in Germany in large numbers. Placards read slogans like "Fukushima is a warning." A minute's silence was also held to honor Japan's quake and tsunami victims.

"Today similar protests have been held in Munich, Cologne, Hamburg and Berlin. We expected tens of thousands, but the turnout has been higher than our expectations," Thorben Becker, a nuclear expert, told Press TV.

The public and opposition fear that Merkel's decision would not last after local elections, which are being held in two large states.

"We from the Left Party want chancellor Merkel to cease being tactical and to shot down the power plants for real," said Gesine Lotzsch, the head of Germany's Left Party.

Organizers said the anti-nuclear rallies were the biggest Germany has ever seen.

"A clear sign for the German government: Tens of thousands of people rallying in Berlin, and nationwide, against atomic energy," the correspondent said.

The German government is carrying out stress tests on all nuclear reactors to ensure their safety amid growing public concern.

"Japan is not something really new because core melting nuclear power plant is possible wherever a power plant is standing. But the real bad news is that it is possible in a high-tech country like Japan to have meltdown in three nuclear power plants in parallel," said Green Party's chief Jurgen Trittin.

Much-awaited local polls in the state of Baden-Wuertenberg might see the election of a first-ever Green state premier, a party that has always been against the use of nuclear power in Germany.