Tihange 3 and Doel 4: Belgian nuclear power plants run ten years longer

Status: 09.01.2023 8:59 p.m

The extension of the term had already been decided, and now the Belgian government has reached an agreement with the energy company Engie on the final details. The nuclear power plants Tihange 3 and Doel 4 are to run for ten years longer – also because of the Ukraine war.

The Belgian government and the energy company Engie have agreed to extend the service life of the two nuclear power plants Tihange 3 and Doel 4 by an additional ten years. The extension is crucial to ensure security of energy supply over the next decade, said Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo.

The Belgian government had already decided in March of last year that the Tihange 3 reactor near the German border and the Doel 4 reactor near Antwerp should continue to operate until at least the end of 2035. The implementation was still being negotiated with the operator Engie. A nuclear phase-out was originally planned for 2025.

Ukraine war played a role

The Ukraine war and its effects on Belgium and neighboring countries played a role in the decision. According to a statement, the aim is now to put the two reactors back into operation in winter 2026 after the work required for the extension.

criticism from Germany

In Germany, the Belgian nuclear reactors from the 1970s and 1980s have repeatedly sparked debate. Several defects were found in the reactors in the neighboring country, such as dilapidated concrete parts. In the past, the city of Aachen and the federal government have called for the nuclear power plants to be shut down.

In Belgium, the nuclear phase-out was actually laid down in law in 2003, but the debate has dragged on for years. Six reactors are still connected to the grid, a seventh was switched off last year.

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