French nuclear energy

France obtains three-quarters of its electricity from an age-ing nuclear fleet of 58 nuclear reactors, running in 19 facilities. President Macron has announced that France will shut down 14 of its reactors and cap its electricity from nuclear fission at 50% by 2035.

The first reactor to close will be Fessenheim, 50km north of Basel on the border with Germany. The shut down will begin in 2020, and is one of eight which will be shut down by 2027.

One of the oldest plants is Bugey, which came into service in 1972. The neighbouring Swiss canton of Geneva has a constitution which opposes nuclear power. It explicitly calls for action to “oppose nuclear power facilities, radioactive waste dumps and treatment centres on cantonal territory or in the neighbouring region”. In 2012, Geneva officially objected to authorisation given to the French operator of Bugey, EDF, to create a nuclear waste depot at the site, but the complaint was rejected by the French government.