France May Need Five Years to Order EDF Nuclear-Plant Shutdown

France may take five years to order a dismantling of Electricite de France SA’s oldest atomic plant, regulators said, after President Francois Hollande stated last month the Fessenheim site would be halted by the end of 2016.

“This doesn’t mean the reactors can’t be stopped beforehand,” Andre-Claude Lacoste, head of the Autorite de Surete Nucleaire safety watchdog, told Senators today.

EDF needs about two years to submit documents to the ASN setting out its dismantling plans and the government another three years before a decree could be published, Lacoste said. Decommissioning of two 900-megawatt reactors could then begin.

The watchdog ordered safety work to be carried out at Unit 1 of the plant before the middle of 2013 or it will be shut. Lacoste said today the same type of work will probably have to be carried out on Unit 2 and the same deadline may apply.

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