France planned to close up to 17 nuclear reactors by 2025 as part of its energy transition, to trim nuclear power to 50 percent of the country's electricity generation, ecology minister Nicolas Hulot said on Monday.
"From the moment it has been confirmed to reduce nuclear energy of electricity production to 50 percent, everyone can understand that in order to achieve this objective, we will close some reactors, and not only one reactor," Hulot told RTL radio."It could be up to 17 reactors; we'll have to see," he added.
France operates 58 reactors and has been a leading international proponent of nuclear energy. However, closing nuclear plants has been a controversial issue in the country as France is the most nuclear-energy relying country in the world, with more than three quarters of its power coming from nuclear.
Last Thursday, Hulot raised the curtain on the government's "Climate Plan" in order "to make France leader of green economy". With it, the environmentalist activist aims to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.
Furthermore, he pledged "the end of the sale of petrol or diesel vehicles between now and 2040".
The French government, instead, will offer financial incentives to scrap their polluting vehicles including diesel car dating before 1997 or petrol from before 2001, for clean units, the minister added.
In 2015, France held the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) in which 195 member economies agreed an accord to cut greenhouse gas emissions in a way to keep the rise in the average temperature no higher than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.