France is considering shutting down up to 17 nuclear reactors in the next eight years to reduce the country’s dependence on nuclear power.
The country currently obtains nearly 75% of its electricity from nuclear power and plans to bring it down 50%. A ban has already been announced on new fossil fuel exploration and sales of gas and diesel-powered vehicles will be outlawed by 2040.
France's environment minister Nicolas Hulot was quoted by radio station RTL as saying: “It’s understandable that in order to reach that target, we will have to close a number of reactors.
“Every reactor comes with its own unique economic, social, and even security context.”
If materialised, new policy on nuclear power reactors will change France’s conventional energy policy, reported France24.
At present, France’s nuclear industry employs more than 200,000 people, but the ageing fleet of nuclear plants is posing a risk to the people and environment.
An average nuclear plant in France is more than 30 years old, while 15 of the country’s 58 reactors are over the age of 35.