TRUE OR FALSE.  Has the Fessenheim nuclear power plant been closed for reasons of seniority, as Emmanuel Macron points out?

TRUE OR FALSE. Has the Fessenheim nuclear power plant been closed for reasons of seniority, as Emmanuel Macron points out?


the essential
The Fessenheim nuclear power plant, definitively closed on June 30, 2020, has not finished making people talk about it. Emmanuel Macron explained the reasons for its closure during his speech on September 5, 2022, which go against another official explanation.

In his speech of September 5, 2022, following an interview with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Emmanuel Macron detailed the energy challenges awaiting France and, among them, the state of the nuclear fleet. But the case of Fessenheim, a plant closed in 2020 under his first term, remains controversial: we explain the main reason behind the plant’s closure.

Fessenheim, a “rational” closure?

Fessenheim, the oldest nuclear power plant, should it have remained open? Not for the President of the Republic, who expresses it in clear terms: “For more than five years, the factual analysis that has been made is that the most rational choice was to confirm its closure.” In a context of energy crisis and possible gas and electricity restrictions this winter, Emmanuel Macron therefore did not consider his decision, certainly already mentioned since the Hollande five-year term, as a miscalculation. He indeed evokes the fact that there was “no more maintenance work” on this installation, in addition to a non-alignment on the subject with neighboring Germany.

\ud83d\udde3\ufe0f “The most rational choice was indeed to confirm the closure” of the Fessenheim nuclear power plant, explains Emmanuel Macron pic.twitter.com/LQpO4Phyzt

— franceinfo (@franceinfo) September 5, 2022

A question above all political

Marine Le Pen reacted immediately on Twitter, with a supporting document: the National Assembly’s information report on the conditions for closing the decried plant.

Unable to recognize his mistakes, Emmanuel Macron continues to lie to the French.

The latest parliamentary report is very clear: Fessenheim was a plant in perfect condition, which could very well have benefited from additional work to continue its activity. pic.twitter.com/f7cdGatIzC

– Marine Le Pen (@MLP_officiel) September 5, 2022

And this information report from the National Assembly of October 6, 2021 cannot be clearer: “The hearings conducted demonstrate, without possible ambiguity, that neither the safety nor the security of the plant led to the shutdown of the reactors. The Fessenheim nuclear power plant was no less safe than the national nuclear fleet, quite the contrary.”

The plant’s reputation for dilapidation, subject to seismic risks, therefore does not seem to be proven. On the contrary, it is the location of the plant, close to a Germany with a strong breeding ground for anti-nuclear militants, which partly explains, for the fact-finding mission made up of deputies, the place that the plant has taken in the debate audience. An argument that Emmanuel Macron actually took up on September 5. In other words, for the deputies who wrote the report: “The decision to close is therefore indeed political.”

The subject is not new: François Hollande had already mentioned the closure of the plant in 2012, setting the date of 2016 to end with an installation open since 1978. This promise was the result of the electoral agreement between EELV, advocating closure, and the PS, in view of the 2012 elections.

Emmanuel Macron then took up this measure in his program, defending, according to Europe 1“a pragmatic and adaptive approach” to French energy policy, in order to get rid of the oldest power stations and invest in renewable energies.



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