This decision comes as a consequence of the geopolitical situation in Europe and its impact on the security of the energy supply in all the Union’s countries. Once finalized, this agreement must be approved by the European Commission, which has recently given the green light to the inclusion of nuclear in the taxonomy mechanisms due to its vital role in the energy transition.
In the words of Tinne Van der Straeten, Belgian Minister of Energy, “energy has become a question of nuclear safety, and this agreement intends to offer security and peace of mind to Belgium’s industry and citizens regarding future electricity supply.”
Belgian Ministry of Energy: “energy has become a question of nuclear safety, and this agreement intends to offer security and peace of mind to the industry and citizens”
On Mach 18, Belgium’s Prime Minister, Alexander De Croo, announced that the country’s federal government had decided to “take the necessary measures to lengthen for a further ten years the operation of the most recent nuclear reactors.” This cancelled the shutdown of the country’s nuclear power plants planned for 2025, as long as the safety of the electricity supply was not affected.
Currently, Belgium has seven nuclear reactors in operation (Doel 1, 2 & 3 and Tihange 1, 2 & 3). In 2021 they generated over 50% of the country’s electricity.
Over 50% of Belgium’s electricity comes from nuclear sources
Long-term operation is common practice in many countries, as a strategy to guarantee electric supply and reduce emissions. As of 31 December 2021, 186 nuclear reactors had been granted authorization for renewal of operation beyond 40 years by different regulating organizations in 18 countries. Over 40% of the world’s nuclear reactors have authorization for long-term operation.