France pulls the plug from the country’s oldest nuclear power plant

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According to critics, the Fessenheim nuclear power plant has been a security risk for decades. Employees and residents criticized the shutdown sharply.

The Alsatian nuclear power plant Fessenheim, which has been a security risk for decades, has finally been switched off. The second pressurized water reactor of the oldest nuclear power plant in France was disconnected from the power grid at 11 p.m. on Monday evening, as the French energy company EDF announced.

The process had started several hours earlier than planned on Monday afternoon. The first reactor block of the oldest power plant in France, which had been producing electricity since the end of 1977, had already been taken off the grid at the end of February. The nuclear power plant on the border with Baden-Württemberg has been considered a security risk for decades.

Region should become a green showcase project

Opponents of nuclear power, especially in Germany and Switzerland, had long been unsuccessful in shutting down the two reactors. German politicians and environmental activists welcomed the decommissioning. Employees and residents, however, sharply criticized the shutdown.

The region around the municipality Fessenheim in the South Alsatian department of Haut-Rhin is now to become a green and cross-border showcase project. Projects for sustainable energy generation are to be implemented in a German-French innovation park. Decades will pass before the site of the nuclear power plant can be used. According to the operator, five years are planned for the preparations for dismantling, and the dismantling itself takes another 15 years.

In the Alsatian nuclear power plant around 30 kilometers southwest of Freiburg, there were frequent accidents. Most recently there was a quick shutdown after a thunderstorm on Friday.

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