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Two Belgian nuclear power plants in Antwerp and Huy will remain open for another ten years



Belgium has two nuclear power plants in Antwerp and Huy that generate energy for ten years longer than expected. After months of negotiations, the Belgian government and the French energy company Engie have reached an agreement on the Doel 4 and Tihange 3 power plants.

It has been agreed that Engie will prepare both power plants for a longer life by the winter of 2026 at the latest. The Belgian government had previously agreed to shut down all seven nuclear power plants by 2025 at the latest, but reversed that decision due to the energy crisis resulting from 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.

Cost of radioactive waste

The negotiation was long because Engie wanted, among other things, a discount on the costs of disposing of radioactive waste. The Belgian government and Engie are both investing 50% in a company that will manage the expansion. This means that the state will participate in the profit, but will also have to pay any additional costs.

According to Prime Minister De Croo, the agreement is “a milestone for the security of future energy supplies”. Belgium has seven nuclear power plants, which together account for approx a half of the total electricity consumption.

The Doel nuclear power plants are located just across the Belgian-Dutch 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 shut down permanently, under the Nuclear Exit Act of 2003.

In Huy, in the province of Liège, on the banks of the Meuse are the three nuclear power plants of Tihange. Tihange 1 was opened in 1975, Tihange 2 in 1983 and Tihange 3 in 1985.

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