Nowadays, decommissioning of nuclear power plants has become a key issue for nuclear industry in Europe. The phasing out of nuclear energy in Germany, Belgium and Sweden, as well as the early closure of nuclear units in applicant countries in the frame of EU enlargement, has largely contributed to consider decommissioning as the next challenge to face. The situation is slightly different in France where nuclear energy is still considered as a safe, cost-effective and environment friendly energy source. Electricite´ de France (EDF) is working on the development of a new generation of reactor to replace the existing one and erection of a new nuclear power plant could start in the next few years. Nevertheless, to achieve this objective, it will be necessary to get the support of political decision-makers and the acceptance of public opinion. Due to the growing concern of these stakeholders for environmental issues, their support can only be obtained if it is possible to demonstrate that nuclear energy industry will not leave behind unsolved issues that will be a burden to the next generations. In this context decommissioning of the first generation of EDF NPPs constitutes a prerequisite for the erection of a new type of nuclear power plant. This paper will present the programme defined by EDF for the decommissioning of its nine already shutdown reactors (Fig. 1). The reasons of the recent evolution of EDF decommissioning strategy will be explained and the key issues that will contribute to the successful implementation of this programme will be addressed. Finally, what has been achieved on sites so far and major planned activities will be described.

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