France is advancing with plans to close its Fessenheim nuclear power plant on the border with Germany. The French environment minister said concerns about job losses can be addressed through opportunities in Germany.
France’s environment minister on Friday said the controversial nuclear power plant at Fessenheim along the border with Germany would close at the “end of 2018, start of 2019”
“The nuclear power plant will close, I stand by this decision,” Sebastien Lecornu said during a visit to the Alsace region where the plant is located.
The German government, which already made the decision to exit nuclear power, has demanded the decommissioning of France’s oldest nuclear power plant. The 40-year-old plant has experienced repeated safety-related shutdowns.
The French government wants to close Fessenheim once a new high-pressure reactor goes online in Flamanville in northwestern France. After repeated delays Flamanville should be completed by the end of the year.
A steering committee of unionists, business representatives and management has been formed to move forward with closing the nuclear power plant.
The question is not whether the nuclear plant will close but rather what comes next, Lecornu said.
One of the findings of the committee is that German businesses on the other side of the Rhine have had difficultly finding skilled workers.