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France begins nuclear downsizing

France’s oldest nuclear power reactor is to close by April 2020, in accordance with government plans to reduce the country’s dependence on nuclear energy.

The reactor’s fate was sealed in a government decree published on 9 April after a long battle with the plant operator EDF, which had opposed its decommissioning.

Under the decree, the Fessenheim site, close to the Swiss and German borders, will cease energy production at the point when a new EDF-run reactor in Flamanville, north-western France, comes on stream. That is expected to be by 11 April 2020 at the latest.

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