Belgium has two nuclear power plants in Antwerp and Huy that will generate power for ten years longer than planned. After months of negotiations, the Belgian government and French energy company Engie have reached an agreement for the Doel 4 and Tihange 3 power plants.
It was agreed that Engie would prepare both stations for a longer life by the winter of 2026 at the latest. The Belgian government previously decided to shut down all seven nuclear power plants by 2025 at the latest, but modified this decision due to the energy crisis caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It is now certain that two of Belgium’s seven nuclear power plants will remain open until at least 2035.
Radioactive waste costs
Negotiations took a long time because Engi wanted, among other things, a discount on the costs of disposing of radioactive waste. The Belgian government and Engie each invest 50% in a company that will manage the extension. This means that the state will share in the profit, but will also have to pay for any additional costs.
According to Prime Minister de Croo, the agreement is “the cornerstone for the security of future energy supplies.” Belgium has seven nuclear power plants, which together account for approx Half of the total electricity consumption.
The Doel Nuclear Power Plants are located directly across the Dutch-Belgium border, in the port of Antwerp. The Doel 4 nuclear power plant was commissioned in 1985. Doel 3 was disconnected from the electricity grid in September last year and was the first Belgian nuclear power plant to be permanently closed, under the Nuclear Exit Act 2003.
In Huy, in the province of Liège, the three Tihange nuclear power plants are located on the banks of the Meuse River. Tihange 1 opened in 1975, Tihange 2 in 1983 and Tihange 3 in 1985.
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