Belgium Confirms Decision to Stop Nuclear Power Reactors by 2025, Reports Say
© AFP 2023 / ERIC LALMANDA photo taken on August 20, 2014 shows a nuclear power plant, in Tihange, Belgium. Reactor number 3 of the Doel nuclear plant near Antwerp and reactor number 2 of the Tihange plant have been stopped since March 25. They had already been stopped from June 2012 to June 2013 after thousands of microcracks had been discovered in their tanks. Reactors are not scheduled to restart until the Fall but could restart only in the Spring, if at all, reports the French-speaking Belgian press.
© AFP 2023 / ERIC LALMAND
BRUSSELS (Sputnik) - The Belgian ruling coalition confirmed its decision to cease operation of all nuclear reactors in 2025 following negotiations on Thursday, and intends to invest in small modular reactors instead, Belgian media reported.
The federal government reached an agreement to withdraw from nuclear energy on Thursday morning, according to the Belgian RTBF broadcaster. The so-called plan A was approved, which entails the cessation of nuclear reactors operations in 2025.
At the same time, Belgium is not going to completely abandon nuclear energy, investing about 100 million euros ($112.7 million) in small modular reactors, the broadcaster said, citing the second part of the agreement. This means the old reactors will be shut down, while investments will be transferred to a new generation of nuclear reactors, RTBF said.
The decision to abandon nuclear energy was made in Belgium in 2003, but a number of political forces and experts called for keeping at least two of the most modern reactors operational in order to avoid issues with electricity supply.
In 2020, the Belgian branch of the French energy company Electrabel SA notified employees about its intention to stop allocating funds toward ensuring the longevity of nuclear power plants due to uncertainties surrounding nuclear phase-out in the country. The company feared that the remaining time would not be enough to complete a long series of steps for extending the operation of the reactors; thus it was decided to abandon all reactors by 2025, without waiting for the government's final decision.