France to Shut Oldest Nuclear Plant

France to Shut Oldest Nuclear PlantFrance to Shut Oldest Nuclear Plant

France's oldest nuclear power reactor will stop electricity production by April 2020, once a new generation EPR reactor under construction in Flamanville is operational, according to a decree issued in the country's official gazette on Sunday. The closure of Fessenheim, in northeastern France, was a 2012 electoral promise by French President Francois Hollande, who had promised to curb French dependency on nuclear power by shutting down the reactor during his five-year term, while developing other renewable energy sources, Reuters reported. It said Flamanville 3 was expected to enter into production by April 2020 at the latest, and so to respect France's legal ceiling of 63.2 gigawatts of power from nuclear sources, Fessenheim would have to halt production. The decree to shut down the 1,800-megawatt Fessenheim plant operated by the state-controlled utility in eastern France, came a few days after the company's board decided not to vote to immediately halt production.

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