Belgium Extends Operations Of Nuclear Power Plants By 10 Years

Belgium will extend the life of two nuclear reactors by 10 years, as announced by Prime Minister Alexander De Croo on Monday, 9 January.

The Belgian Government and the utility Engie (ENS Corporate Member), which operates the nuclear power plants in Belgium, have reached an agreement to continue delivering safe, reliable, and low-carbon electricity beyond 2025. This decision so overturns the plan to phase out nuclear power by that date.

The Doel-4 and Tihange-3 reactors – the newest of Belgium’s nuclear fleet – were due to close for good in 2025, but they will now restart in November 2026 after necessary work and will continue operating for 10 years.

The two Generation II reactors began operation in 1985. Both are 1,038-MW PWR units supplied by Framacec, a consortium of Framatome, ACEC and Cockerill.

The extension of these two nuclear reactors is crucial to guarantee our energy security

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo told a news conference after meeting cabinet members.

Here is the announcement from Belgian Prime Minister’s official webpage.

Read more on Reuters.

Belgium currently has six operating reactors, three in Doel and three in Tihange.

The seventh unit, Doel-3, was permanently shut down on 23 September 2022, while Tihange-2 will be shut down next 31 January, so reducing the Belgian nuclear fleet to five reactors.

In 2021, nuclear energy provided 50.8% of the country’s electricity.