It's the beginning of the end for Fessenheim. During the night of Friday to Saturday, Sébastien Lecornu, Minister responsible for Territorial Communities, will come and press the OFF button, at 8:30 p.m., to shut down the first of the two reactors at the oldest power plant in France. A stop that could have economic consequences in the region. Negative for some, relief for others: what will it change concretely for the inhabitants? Europe 1 asked them the question.
"I am sad for this closure"
The pressure at reactor number 1 at the Fessenheim plant will gradually drop, until complete shutdown, a first step before the shutdown of reactor no. 2 in June and the definitive closure of the oldest plant in France . The decision, which has been postponed many times, is ultimately applied to the chagrin of certain inhabitants of the region, who fear the economic consequences.
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"I am sad for this closure, for all these jobs that are going to disappear ...", regrets Catherine, wife of an EDF retiree. "1.000 + 1.000", that is to say the workers of the power station and the induced jobs, that makes people, and without them, she estimates, the village will die. "We no longer have a tobacco shop, which has not been taken over, a large restaurant is on sale in the street, we have a pizzeria which has closed. All because of the green ..."
Adapting by opening up to Germany
But some are also relieved: "I say phew, yes, because we have had examples across the planet: what happens if the plant is not sufficiently cooled? Rupture of the levees of the grand canal , etc. The problem was still there, "relativizes a resident.
For Olivier Porcu, manager of Super U in Fessenheim, the economy simply has to adapt and the future of the village will depend on greater openness to neighboring Germany. "We have been anticipating this closure for a few years, we went to capture a German clientele, by distributing leaflets in Germany, by training our teams in the German language", he confides. According to him, "the Germans are very fond of fish, cheese, the French art of living". What, perhaps, allow businesses to continue to live.
As a sign of contestation, the public lighting of Fessenheim will be cut Friday evening by local elected officials who are demanding more financial aid from the government.