21 Feb 2020, 14:06
Benjamin Wehrmann

Germany's environment minister says closure of French nuclear plant makes Germany safer

Clean Energy Wire

The closure of France's oldest nuclear plant Fessenheim on the German border will make both France and Germany safer, German environment minister Svenja Schulze has said. "We've been advocating this step for a long time. The decommissioning has been promised many times and now it's finally happening," Schulze said about the plant, which opened in 1977 and sits across the border on the Rhine river. Schulze said Germany's nuclear exit, scheduled to be finished in 2022, is "solid as a rock" and vowed that the government would "not cease to advocate a shift away from nuclear power with our neighbouring countries. Nuclear energy is "no climate saviour", as it is too risky, too expensive and creates nuclear waste "for thousands of generations", she said, adding that renewable energy sources "clearly are the better solution."

In line with President Emanuel Macron's energy strategy, France will shut the plant's first bloc on 22 February and the second bloc at the end of June. Germany still operates six nuclear plants, which account for roughly ten percent of the country's power mix.

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