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French government urges EDF to close aging nuclear plant

Staff Writer |
French Energy Minister Segolene Royal warned EDF's board against trying to prevent the closure of France's oldest nuclear plant.

EDF has scheduled a board meeting on Thursday to decide the fate of the 1,800 megawatt Fessenheim plant near the German border.

Its closure was an election promise of outgoing President Francois Hollande in 2012, but the company has so far managed to put off a final decision.

Unions oppose the closure, saying it would cause job losses and France's hardline CGT trade union urged its members to picket EDF's headquarters during Thursday's meeting to keep pressure on the board members.

"The board is going to have a debate and normally EDF's chairman should give me a request (afterwards) to close Fessenheim as planned," Royal said on CNEWS.

Environmental groups have long suspected EDF of playing for time, seeking to prevent the closure from becoming irreversible before the end of Hollande's presidency next month.

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