France's EDF denies report of 'secret plan' to delay scaling back nuclear power

The logo of France's state-owned electricity company EDF is seen on the company's headquarters in Paris, France, November 24, 2016. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

PARIS (Reuters) - French state-controlled utility EDF on Monday denied a media report that it had a secret plan to push back by 25 years a target to reduce the share of nuclear power generation within France’s overall electricity mix.

French television station BFM TV had earlier reported that according to a secret internal EDF plan, the share of nuclear generation in that mix will only be reduced to 50 percent by 2050, instead of 2025 as stipulated in a French law.

EDF said on its official Twitter account that it formally denied the “malicious rumors about the existence of a secret plan which sets back the 50 percent nuclear target to 2050.”

It added it was working within the general framework of France’s 2015 energy law, and would work on France’s energy transition plans with the new government.

France’s 2015 energy transition law outlined the country’s ambition to curb its dependence on atomic power by cutting the share of nuclear in its electricity mix to 50 percent from over 75 percent currently, while developing more renewable power.

New French Ecology Minister Nicolas Hulot, a well-known environmental activist, also confirmed last week that France would aim to cut the share of nuclear in its power generation to 50 percent by 2025, and would close its oldest nuclear power plant.

Reporting by Geert de Clercq and Bate Felix; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta