Nuclear power plant operators: the term for the Doel and Tihange nuclear power plants cannot be extended

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In Belgium, consideration is being given to extending the operating times of nuclear power plants beyond the nuclear phase-out that has been planned there since 2003 in 2025. Engie, operator of the latest Doel 4 and Tihange 3 reactors, has now informed Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo that they can no longer be connected to the grid.

Both the Doel 4 reactor, which has been in operation since July 1985, and the Tihange 3 reactor, which has been in operation since September 1985, are to be shut down on September 1, 2025. In view of the security of the energy supply, the Flemish Christian Democrats CD&V and the francophone liberals MR asked whether Belgium could produce enough electricity after the shutdown of the nuclear power plant. reports the Belgian broadcaster VRT. De Croo then wanted to speak to Engie.

According to the report, Engie emphasized that an extension of the term would require a lead time of at least five years, also because of the necessary studies and approval procedures. Legal proceedings and the necessary investments would also take time. Experience with similar projects has shown that.

The seven Belgian reactors (three in Tihange, four in Doel) should each be shut down forty years after the start of commercial operation, it was decided in Belgium in 2003. The shutdown of the first two reactors was planned for 2015, for the last 2025. In 2015, Belgium decided to extend the Doel 1 and 2 reactors until 2025; such a possibility was provided for in the Belgian nuclear phase-out act.

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Doel is 150 kilometers and Tihange 70 kilometers from the German border. In the summer of this year, the city of Cologne signed a resolution against the extension of the term. The Doel site has been the subject of controversial discussions for years because of various security concerns, according to the resolution initiated by the Aachen region. The region had already provided iodine tablets for a possible nuclear accident in 2017.


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