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France to close up to 17 nuclear power stations

France's oldest nuclear reactor at Fessenheim, near Colmar in Alsace Reuters/Vincent Kessler/File Photo

France is to close up to 17 nuclear power stations to reach the government's target of 50 percent nuclear power by 2015, Ecology Minister Nicolas Hulot said on Monday.

"Everybody can understand that to reach this target we will close a certain number of reactors," Hulot told RTL radio. "Let me plan things, it may be up to 17, we'll have to see."

Hulot presented a "climate plan" on Thursday but it was short on details on reaching the commitment to reduce the amount of electricity produced in nuclear reactors from the current 75 per cent to 50 percent.

The transition to more diversified energy sources must be planned, Hulot said.

"Every reactor has a very different economic, social and even security situation," he added.

Previous president François Hollande also promised to cut nuclear power to 50 percent of electricity production.

But he only managed to finalise a plan to close the country's oldest reactor, at Fessenheim in Alsace, just before leaving office and closure has yet to take place.