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Oldest French nuclear plant may stay open 10 more years

Reuters/Vincent Kessler

France’s oldest nuclear power plant could continue to run for another 10 years. A leaked report by the French nuclear safety agency indicates that experts are ready to extend the life of the plant, something environmentalists are not happy about.


The Fessenheim nuclear power plant has been running in France’s eastern Alsace region since 1977.

The French nuclear safety agency has been working on a report on the long-term viability of the plant – the Le Figaro newspaper reported Thursday that agency experts will approve the extension of the plant’s number one reactor for another 10 years.

The agency confirmed that the plant is under review after 30 years of operation but said investigators have not yet made a final decision. The report will be made public no later than the beginning of July.

Even if the plant continues to run for another 10 years, it will still undergo the stress tests required of all nuclear facilities following the massive Japanese earthquake in May that disabled the Fukushima plant.

Fessenheim is owned jointly by France, along with Switzerland and Germany, which have both in recent weeks announced they would abandon nuclear power altogether over the next few years.

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