"Protesters Demand French Nuclear Plant Closure"

"Thousands of demonstrators formed a human chain outside France's oldest nuclear power plant on Sunday to demand the site be closed as the government mulls whether to extend its life by a decade.

The plant at Fessenheim, in Alsace, has become a flashpoint in the renewed debate over nuclear safety in France following the Fukushima disaster In Japan.

Its location near the German border has also made Fessenheim a point of tension between France, which is heavily reliant on its 58 nuclear reactors and has defended their safety, and Germany, which has decided to abandon nuclear power.

Ecology Minister Natalie Kosciusko-Morizet said on Friday there would be no decision until a report from the nuclear safety watchdog was submitted in early July and the results were in from safety tests set up in the wake of Fukushima."

Patrick Genthon and Gilbert Reilhac report for Reuters June 27, 2011.

Monday, June 27, 2011