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Sarkozy says to keep Fessenheim nuclear plant running

(Xinhua)

09:23, February 10, 2012

PARIS, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Thursday vowed to keep Fessenheim nuclear plant running, local media reported.

"We will not close this station, it's out of the question," the president said during his visit to the country's oldest nuclear power plant in Alsace in northeastern France.

"I will never accept the closing of the Fessenheim station for political reasons," he said.

Sarkozy's remarks came ahead of a two-round presidential election scheduled in April and May. Socialist frontrunner Francois Hollande had promised to reduce France's reliance on nuclear energy from 75 percent to 50 percent by shutting down 24 reactors by 2025.

"Wanting to close Fessenheim is a scandal, because it would mean sacrificing your jobs for backward political thinking," Sarkozy added.

The closure of the plant would come "at the cost of jobs in the nuclear industry, the cost of our industrial competitiveness and the cost of our energy independence," he was quoted by local media RFI as saying.

As the world's most nuclear-dependent country, France owns 58 reactors and has been a leading international proponent of atomic energy.

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