France may close as many as 17 reactors by 2025 as it seeks to reduce the share of nuclear power in its electricity mix. Julian Satterthwaite reports
A big shift for a country that has long relied on atomic power. The announcement was made by the country's environment minister. Speaking on RTL radio, Nicholas Hulot said he would stick with a goal set, but not achieved, by the previous government. That being to cut nuclear's share of French electricity needs from 75 percent to 50%. (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH MINISTER OF ECOLOGICAL AND SOCIAL TRANSITION, NICOLAS HULOT, SAYING: "Everyone can understand that to reach this, we will close a certain number of reactors and not only one reactor which by the way has not been closed yet. So please let me plan things, it can amount up to seventeen reactors, we'll have to take a closer look" France is a major electricity exporter in Europe and has long been reliant upon nuclear power. The country currently has 58 reactors. But for many years, it has wanted to reduce the amount of nuclear waste it produces and the subsequent risk of contamination. And make room for cleaner renewables in the energy mix. Previous president François Hollande also promised to cut nuclear power to share to fifty percent. He only managed to finalise a plan to close the country's oldest reactor, at Fessenheim in Alsace, just before leaving office. It still hasn't closed down.