September 25, 2018 / 7:29 AM / 9 months ago

French Finance Minister says he is against quick exit from nuclear

PARIS, Sept 25 (Reuters) - French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said he is against a quick exit from nuclear and added he wants France to maintain a competitive and technologically advanced nuclear industry.

France - which produces 75 percent of its electricity in the nuclear reactors of state-owned utility EDF - will decide in coming weeks on a new long-term energy strategy, which will include reducing the share of nuclear to 50 percent, but so far no deadline has been set for that target.

“I am against a quick exit from nuclear,” Le Maire told BFM TV.

He said he did not rule out that France would close other nuclear plants than the Fessenheim plant, and that he would meet with the prime minister in coming days to discuss the issue.

Asked whether France could build new nuclear reactors beyond the troubled and long-delayed EPR reactor that EDF is building in Flamanville, northern France, he said: “Let’s first see if Flamanville works, review the process and then decide”. (Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)

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