France's oldest nuclear reactor to finally shut down

(The Guardian, 28 Jun 2020) Environmentalists have welcomed news that the 43-year-old Fessenheim reactor will close, nine years after it was first planned

France’s oldest nuclear power plant will shut down on Tuesday after four decades in operation, to the delight of environmental activists who have long warned of contamination risks, but stoking worry for the local economy.

The Fessenheim plant, opened in 1977 and already three years over its projected 40-year life span, became a target for anti-nuclear campaigners after the catastrophic meltdown at Fukushima in Japan in 2011.

Despite a pledge by then-president Francois Hollande just months after the Fukushima disaster to close Fessenheim – on the Rhine river near France’s eastern border with Germany and Switzerland – it was not until 2018 that his successor Emmanuel Macron gave the final green light.

External link

The Guardian, 28 Jun 2020: France's oldest nuclear reactor to finally shut down