France shuts oldest reactor amid Macron climate pledges

Sallie Anderson

France’s oldest nuclear power plant was lastly closed on Tuesday (30 June) – after 4 years in operation and an enduring campaign by anti-nuclear activists.

The procedure to get rid of the fuel utilized by the reactors of Fessenheim power plant, which was linked to the grid in 1977, need to be finished by 2023 – although the plant is not anticipated to be totally taken apart prior to2040


Following the catastrophe of Fukushima in 2011, then French president Francois Hollande vowed to close Fessenheim power plant, after problems about safety from both the Swiss and german federal governments.

Nevertheless, his follower Emmanuel Macron just lastly okayed to closure in 2017.

A group of nuclear fans, on the other hand, showed on Monday versus the closure of Fessenheim at the head office of Greenpeace in Paris.

According to the French Atomic Energy Society (SFEN), this shutdown will indicate more fossil-fuel-based services and extra emissions of around 10 million tonnes of CO2 annually.

Nevertheless, France likewise intends to decrease the emissions from its electrical power supply by closing down its last 4 coal-fired power plants by 2024, and buying renewable resources.

Without Fessenheim, France will still have an overall of 56 pressurised water reactors at 18 nuclear plants.

In 2012, Hollande devoted to minimizing France’s dependence on nuclear to 50 percent – rather of 75 percent – of all electrical power and Macron guaranteed to appreciate this target when he was elected.

Nevertheless, the energy and climate costs provided by Macron in May delayed Hollande’s enthusiastic target till 2035.

Although the costs did establish carbon neutrality by 2050 as the main goal for domestic climate and energy action – aligning its national aspiration with the European Green Offer.

Macron: EUR15 bn and 146 brand-new propositions

On The Other Hand, Macron guaranteed today (29 June) to accelerate France’s shift to a greener economy reacting to the propositions from the French people’ convention on climate – a day after a “green wave” saw success in community elections throughout the nation for Les Vertes (the Greens).

“The challenge to our climate demands we do more,” Macron informed members of the climate convention in a conference at the Elysée Palace.

The citizens’ convention on climate is a French assembly experiment of Macron from in 2015, which collects 150 random people to create concepts to decrease national greenhouse gas emissions.

Macron stated he accepted all however 3 of the 149 suggestions proposed by the people’ assembly.

Macron declined the concept of enforcing a 4 percent dividend tax on financial investments to assist financing climate and energy policies along with presenting a 110 km/h speed limitation on French roadways.

First referendum in 15 years?

Yet, the president revealed an additional EUR15 bn to combat climate modification over the next 2 years and stated he was prepared to call a referendum on modifying the French constitution to consist of climate objectives – if the parliament permits it.

Also, Macron likewise supported a referendum on making “ecocide” a criminal activity – describing any activity that triggers major ecological damage.

Last time French people were contacted us to a referendum remained in 2005 when they, like the Dutch, declined a constitution for the European Union.

France’s Green party, and its left-wing allies, made big gains in Lyon, Strasbourg, Bordeaux and Besancon throughout the second round of regional elections on Sunday.

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