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EDF nuclear plant staff on strike over pension reform - union

Electricite de France (EDF) nuclear power plant seen in Saint-Laurent-Nouan

PARIS (Reuters) - Workers at French utility EDF's nuclear plants are going on a rolling strike from this afternoon over planned pension reform, which is is expected to lead to lower power output, the FNME-CGT union said on Twitter.

The decision was linked to the start of a debate in the French Senate over pension reform and the possible termination of preferential pension regimes for certain categories of workers, they said.

At 1700 CET, a relatively low 1.1 gigawatt of capacity - the equivalent of about one nuclear reactor - was offline.

President Emmanuel Macron has vowed to go ahead with the reform, which aims to raise the country’s minimum retirement age from 62 to 64, despite nationwide demonstrations and strikes.

The EDF workers' rolling strike is starting well ahead of a a planned strike on March 7, a day on which unions have said the nation would be brought to a standstill in protest against the planned reforms.

The French government's pension reform plan moved to the conservative-controlled Senate this week after a tense debate in the National Assembly ended without a vote.

(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by GV De Clercq)