Belgium continues nuclear exit in 2023 with the closure of Tihange 2
Belgium is continuing its nuclear exit with the closure of nuclear reactor Tihange 2. It will continue to produce electricity until the end of January. After that, the reactor will be permanently disconnected from the grid. A spokeswoman for operator Engie Electrabel confirmed this. Earlier, Doel 3 was also disconnected from the grid.
Belgium's long-awaited nuclear exit took effect on September 23, when nuclear reactor Doel 3 was permanently disconnected from the grid. This happened a few days before the legal shutdown date of October 1, as the reactor's fuel cycle had ended.
After Doel 3, it will be Tihange 2's turn to be permanently disconnected from the grid at the end of January 2023. The legal shutdown date is February 1. However, the reactor will not be shut down until midnight on January 31 and thus produce electricity until the end of the legal deadline. After all, there is still enough fuel for Tihange 2. However, the plant will no longer run at full power then.
After the closure of Doel 3 in September and Tihange 2 in February, our country will be left with five nuclear power plants. Those remaining plants will close in 2025. The government is currently negotiating with operator Engie to extend the Doel 4 and Tihange 3 reactors by ten years. However, those negotiations are proceeding with difficulty. Engie earlier confirmed that talks have been "delayed".
On Sunday, Tihange 1 was unexpectedly shut down due to a problem with one of its two steam turbines. However, network operator Elia does not expect any issues with the security of supply and hopes to restart the nuclear reactor as soon as possible.
© BELGA PHOTO Nicolas Maeterlinck