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French nuclear, hydropower availability down 12% as strike gets under way

Illustration shows Electric power transmission pylon miniatures and EDF (Electricite de France) logo

PARIS (Reuters) - French nuclear and hydropower availability late on Wednesday was running about 12% below levels seen earlier in the day, the outage table of state-controlled nuclear group EDF showed as a nationwide strike over pension reform got under way.

The table showed availability reduced by 5 gigawatts (GW) at seven nuclear reactors and down by another 340 megawatts (MW) at hydropower plants.

Workers in sectors including transport, education and energy across France are due to take part in the strike on Thursday, with major protest marches expected in Paris and other cities.

Unions are up in arms over plans by President Emmanuel Macron's government to raise the retirement age by two years to 64 in order to keep the pension system out of the red.

(Reporting by Forrest Crellin; writing by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Leslie Adler and Marguerita Choy)