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France’s oldest nuclear power station starts shutdown

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Christian Fernsby ▼ | February 19, 2020
A reactor at the oldest working nuclear power station in France is to stop operating this Saturday, as the first step in a new energy strategy, the government has said.
France oldest nuclear power station
Energy in France   France oldest nuclear power station
The first of two reactors at the Fessenheim nuclear power station (Haut-Rhin, Grand Est) will stop operating at 2h30 on Saturday February 22. It marks the beginning of the total shutdown and closure of the power station, by government decree.

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The station will stop operating completely by the end of June. The government decree, published in the Journal Officiel on February 19, states that it “hereby revokes authorisation to operate the Fessenheim nuclear power plant, which is held by [electricity company] EDF”.

The first reactor which is 900 megawatts, and water cooled - will be shut down gradually from Friday night. The second reactor will stop on June 30.

Removal of waste will begin by summer 2023, while the safe dismantlement of the plant is expected to take until 2040 at the earliest.

The Fessenheim station began operations in 1977.