Brussels, Feb 3 (AFP/APP): Belgium plans to prolong the life of three nuclear reactors that had been due to close in 2025 for at least one more winter, an official source told AFP Friday.
Prime Minister Alexander de Croo has asked Belgian nuclear authorities and the plant’s operator, French power giant Engie, to draw up a plan to postpone their shutdown.
“We are considering the possibility of extending the reactors for the 2025-2026 winter,” the source said, pointing to the uncertainty over cross-border electricity imports from France’s ageing park of nuclear reactors.
Last week, the government decided to extend by 10 years the planned lifespan of two other reactors; Doel 4, near the northern port city of Antwerp, and Tihange 3, near the eastern city of Liege.
The extension was part of an agreement concluded on January 9 between Brussels and Engie, who will be equal partners in a joint venture for the ten extra years.
The latest extension could apply to the Doel 1, Doel 2 and Tihange 1 reactors, which are due to stop production in 2025, the source said, but also to two other reactors.
Maintenance work is planned for Doel 4 and Tihange 3 during the winter of 2025-26, but this could change to keep them in production.
Belgium, which had seven active reactors until last year, took Doel 3 offline in September and Tihange 2 on Tuesday after 40 years of service.
Last year, the country decided to delay its planned 2025 exit from nuclear power by a decade in the face of sky-high energy prices caused by Russia’s war on Ukraine.
Belgium’s Green Party, part of the ruling coalition, has strongly resisted the move.
Wedged between nuclear-powered France and gas-and-coal-dependent Germany, Belgium’s own reactors supply about half of its electricity needs.

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