Oct 17, 2018 | Updated: 04:34 PM EDT

France Issues Decree Officially Closing Fessenheim Nuclear Plant

Apr 11, 2017 01:21 PM EDT

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The French government under the administration of President Francois Hollande published Sunday a decree that officially closed down the Fessenheim Nuclear Plant, the oldest nuclear plant in the country. It can be recalled that Hollande promised during the 2012 election that he will reduce the country's energy mix from 75 percent nuclear-reliant to only 50 percent. The decree, which was published in the government's Official Journal, provides the conditions for the closure of the nuclear plant located between the borders of eastern France and southwestern Germany.

France's energy security policy has resulted in its reliance on nuclear energy but it is expected to be reduced by 2025. It has a very low energy generation cost and this has made the country the largest net exporter of energy in the world. Electricite de France (EDF) operates a total of 58 nuclear reactors in the country. The operations of the Fessenheim Nuclear Plant will stop once the Flanmanville plant becomes operational as projected in 2019.

The Fessenheim Nuclear Plant started its operations in 1977. However, environmentalists from France, Germany, and Switzerland campaigned against the nuclear plant, and its location along a seismic fault line is just one of their reasons, according to The Local. There are sectors that are opposed to the closure considering that the nuclear plant guarantees the country's energy independence. There are fears that the closure would result in the loss of 2,000 employment opportunities for the people.

"The decree on #Fessenheim closure has been signed and published this morning," France Minister for Ecology and Energy Segolene Royal said on Tweeter. "It was promised, now it's been done."

The decommissioning of the Fessenheim Nuclear Plant by April 2020 is dependent on the operation of the Flamanville reactor. The project started in 2007 but was delayed due to technical problems, according to The Guardian.

EDF said the test phase of the Flamanville plant will last up to 2018 and will be hooked up to the national grid the next year. Stay tuned for more news and updates about the future of Fessenheim Nuclear Plant.

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