Environment & Energy Report

France Retiring Oldest Reactor to Put Pressure on Nuclear Fleet

June 30, 2020, 4:00 AM

Electricite de France SA powered down the last reactor at its 43-year-old Fessenheim nuclear station late Monday night at a time when the nation faces record-low availability at its atomic generators.

France, which gets about 70% of its electricity from nuclear, still has 56 reactors in its armory but only 27 are available. While plants are typically halted for maintenance in the summer, more reactors are offline than usual in response to low demand caused by measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and plans to conserve fuel for next winter.

There are 12 reactors already offline that...

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