France's oldest nuclear plant to close this year

March 6, 2016
German media claims a 2014 incident in France's oldest nuclear plant, Fessenheim, located near the German and Swiss borders, was
German media claims a 2014 incident in France's oldest nuclear plant, Fessenheim, located near the German and Swiss borders, was more serious than previously reported

France is to close down its oldest nuclear power plant, at the centre of a row with neighbouring Germany and Switzerland, by the end of this year, a green minister said Sunday.

"The timeline is one the president has repeated to me several times, it's 2016," said Emmanuelle Cosse, who was named to President Francois Hollande's cabinet last month, referring to the Fessenheim plant.

Cosse was speaking to French media after a row sparked Friday when Germany demanded that France close down Fessenheim following reports that a 2014 incident there was worse than earlier portrayed.

France's Nuclear Safety Agency said that at the plant was "overall satisfactory" but that the government's "could lead to different choices" regarding the facility, which is near the German and Swiss borders.

It said there was "no need" to shut the plant from a nuclear safety point of view.

France has promised to cut reliance on nuclear energy from more than 75 percent to 50 percent by shutting 24 reactors by 2025, while stepping up reliance on renewable energy.

Fessenheim, located on a seismic fault line, has worried French, German and Swiss environmentalists for years.

In September, Hollande said Fessenheim, in operation since 1977, would not be shut this year, contrary to a 2012 campaign promise, because of delays in completion of a new plant in northern Flamanville.

On Sunday, Cosse said that to reach its target, the government would have "to close other nuclear , other reactors, obviously, over several years."

Hollande named Cosse, a member of the French Greens Party (EELV), housing minister as part of a reshuffle seen as a bid to broaden his appeal ahead of a re-election bid next year.

Explore further: France's Hollande outlines 'green' energy policy

Related Stories

France's Hollande outlines 'green' energy policy

September 14, 2012

President Francois Hollande Friday pledged to close France's oldest operational nuclear plant in 2016 and rejected seven proposals for shale gas exploration on health and environment concerns.

Belgian nuclear reactor restarts after shutdown

January 4, 2016

Belgium on Monday restarted a reactor that was shut down at the weekend just three days after returning to service amid concern in neighbouring countries over its nuclear safety.

Belgium restarts ageing Tihange 1 nuclear reactor

December 27, 2015

Belgian power utility Electrabel said Saturday it had restarted a nuclear reactor at its ageing Tihange plant, just days after being forced to shut it down following a fire in the electricity supply system.

Recommended for you

WhatsApp vulnerable to snooping: report

January 13, 2017

The Facebook-owned mobile messaging service WhatsApp is vulnerable to interception, the Guardian newspaper reported on Friday, sparking concern over an app advertised as putting an emphasis on privacy.

US gov't accuses Fiat Chrysler of cheating on emissions

January 12, 2017

The U.S. government accused Fiat Chrysler on Thursday of failing to disclose software in some of its pickups and SUVs with diesel engines that allows them to emit more pollution than allowed under the Clean Air Act.

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

WillieWard
5 / 5 (1) Mar 06, 2016
It will be replaced by fossil-fuel power plants as in Germany, nice carbon-free country with ecologically friendly bird choppers.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.