Belgium set to extend operating life of two nuclear reactors


Photo: Engie


June 30, 2023






June 30, 2023





Energy company Engie and the Belgian government have signed an intermediate agreement defining the terms of extending the operating life of the Doel 4 and Tihange 3 nuclear reactors, with a total capacity of 2 GW. The move, aimed at strengthening the security of electricity supply in Belgium, comes on the heels of last year’s decision to keep the two units running for another ten years.

The agreement, signed following a public consultation process, calls on both parties to use their best efforts to restart the nuclear units by November 2026. Under the 2003 nuclear phaseout act, all nuclear plants in Belgium are set to close by the end of 2025, according to the company’s website.

The deal, however, might apply as early as November 2025 if an announced relaxation of regulations is implemented effectively, which might mean that the reactors will not even be shut down before the planned restart.

The deal envisages balanced risk distribution between Engie and the government

The agreement also defines a business model of the extension with balanced risk allocation between Engie and the government, notably through a contract-for-difference (CfD) mechanism with incentives for the operator.

As a result of the transfer of all nuclear waste liabilities to the Belgian government, Engie will no longer be exposed to the evolution of future costs related to the treatment of waste, according to a press release from the company.

The signature of the definitive agreements is expected at the end of July.

Most EU countries are in favor of nuclear revival

Recently, Sweden changed its electricity mix target from “100% renewable” to “100% fossil-free,” paving the way for new nuclear reactors to be built.

Both Belgium and Sweden are among the large group of European Union (EU) countries that have joined France’s informal pro-nuclear bloc.

Nuclear power is making a comeback in Southeastern Europe as well, notably in Bulgaria and Romania, while Germany, Austria and Luxembourg oppose nuclear revival.

Comments (0)

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Enter Your Comment
Please wait... Please fill in the required fields. There seems to be an error, please refresh the page and try again. Your comment has been sent.

Related Articles

European Parliament passes electricity gas market reform

European Parliament passes electricity, gas market reform

12 April 2024 - European lawmakers adopted the energy market design reform proposal to facilitate decarbonization and ease the impact of sharp price swings

Vladimir Malinov Bulgaria caretaker cabinet quits Bulgartransgaz CEO

Vladimir Malinov joins Bulgaria’s caretaker cabinet, quits as Bulgartransgaz CEO

11 April 2024 - Dimitar Glavchev's interim Council of Ministers of Bulgaria includes Acting Minister of Energy Vladimir Malinov

Europe largest solar farm Witznitz eastern Germany

Europe’s largest solar farm Witznitz commissioned in eastern Germany

11 April 2024 - Hansainvest and developer Move On inaugurated the Witznitz solar park of 605 MW in peak capacity on coal land near Leipzig in Germany

Romania offshore wind energy law first megawatts 2032

Romania adopts offshore wind energy law to get first megawatts in 2032

10 April 2024 - More than two thirds of lawmakers voted for Romania's first offshore wind energy law, aimed at getting the first turbines online in 2032