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French State Council rejects Fessenheim nuclear plant closure decree

The French State Council (Conseil d'Etat, the highest administrative court in France) has cancelled the April 2017 decree on the closure of the Fessenheim nuclear power plant, considering that the decision was illegal since the plant's operator EDF did not form a request for shutting down the plant.

The 2017 decree repealed Fessenheim's operating license as from the commissioning date of the 1,650 MW Flamanville nuclear power project, which was then expected in late 2018, and only if EDF requested it six months before. However, the Flamanville commissioning has been postponed for the fourth quarter of 2019 and EDF never requested the closure.

The Fessenheim facility includes two pressurized water reactors (PWRs) with a capacity of 880 MW each, which have generated an average of 10 TWh/year since 1977. Earlier in October 2018, the Nuclear Safety Authority (Autorité de sûreté nucléaire, ASN) announced that the two Fessenheim reactors will have to cease operation by 2020 and 2022, respectively.

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