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France formalises decision to close oldest nuclear plant


France

France formalises decision to close oldest nuclear plant

The French government has published a decree for closing the country’s oldest nuclear plant, at Fessenheim, in eastern France.

It is now due officially to stop producing electricity in 2020 when a new generation European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) in Flamanville is expected to be operational.

The closure has been a campaign target by French, German and Swiss environmentalists for years.

The decree also fulfills a promise made by President Francois Hollande to reduce the share of nuclear in the energy mix from 75 percent to 50 percent and boost the share of renewables.

On March 16, EDF announced that it had begun the test phase of the Flamanville EPR, and this would run until the end of 2018.

The reactor will be hooked up to the national grid in the second quarter of 2019, it said.

Two EPR reactors are scheduled to be built at Hinkley Point in southwest Britain under a Chinese-backed deal announced last year.

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