Government approves deal on life extension of nuclear reactors
The deal with Engie to extend the life of the Doel 4 and Tihange 3 nuclear reactors has been given the green light by the government, Energy minister Tinne Van der Straeten said on Wednesday.
"The documents can now be sent to the European Commission for approval. A colossal amount of work has been done over the past few months so that we can regain control of our energy production," Van der Straeten told Radio 1.
The 10-year extension has been translated into a legal framework. A council of ministers will meet later today to give the green light to the 1,500-page text. It will then go to the Council of State and then to Parliament.
According to Van der Straeten, Belgium is on track to guarantee energy security for the winter of 2025-26. "There is also an agreement to triple the number of windmills at sea and to increase the capacity of batteries tenfold in order to be able to store this electricity," she said.
The agreement will lead to the creation of Hedera, a public body that will ensure the financial management of nuclear liabilities and control spending. This includes 15 billion euros for nuclear waste management and 6 billion euros for the decommissioning of former sites.
Van der Straeten also said the nuclear phase-out law would be adapted to the life extension of Doel 4 and Tihange 3. Implementing another 10-year life extension, recently proposed by prime minister Alexander De Croo, is up to a different government, she said.
© BELGA PHOTO DIRK WAEM