France will need to close nuclear reactors: minister

French Minister of Ecological and Social Transition Nicolas Hulot speaks during the questions to the government session at the National Assembly in Paris, France, July 12, 2017. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

PARIS (Reuters) - French Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot reiterated on Wednesday that France will need to close several nuclear reactors in order to meet a target to cut the share of atomic energy in power generation to 50 percent by 2025.

Hulot, who said in July France will need to close up to 17 of its 58 reactors, did not specify a number, but said that the Fessenheim plant - long earmarked as a closure candidate - would be among them.

A schedule for plant closures will be decided in a multi-year energy plan to be presented in 2018, he said on France Info Radio.

“We need to make a rational decision on which reactors to close, taking into account economic social and security factors,” Hulot said.

“We will close several reactors, but I’ll do it in a socially acceptable way. Fessenheim will close, so too other reactors,” he added.

Reporting by Geert de Clercq; Editing by Bate Felix