Tihange 2 permanently shut down

On January 31 at 22:45, Electrabel has permanently disconnected the Tihange 2 reactor from the high-voltage grid, in accordance with the Act of 31 January 2003 on the gradual phase-out of nuclear energy for industrial electricity production. Tihange 2 is the second Belgian nuclear power plant to stop producing electricity for good. The first activities related to the post operational phase and subsequent dismantling will begin.

With the shutdown of Tihange 2, a new phase with new activities will begin:

  • Shortly after the shutdown, operators will open the reactor for one last time, remove all the fuel and transfer it to the cooling basins.
  • To remove as much radioactivity from the systems as possible, employees will flush the primary circuit with a chemical solution. 
  • In 2024, operators will begin transferring the already sufficiently cooled fuel elements (from previous reactor operating cycles) from the cooling basins to special storage and transport containers. Completely emptying the cooling basins will be finished in 2027.
  • In parallel, nuclear power plant staff will gradually take all technical systems out of service. Only the systems that play a role in cooling the fuel basins or operating the other reactors will remain operational.
  • Once the fuel basins are also completely emptied and cleaned, 99% of the total radioactivity will have been removed from Tihange 2's facilities. At that point, Electrabel can proceed with the complete dismantling of the plant. According to current schedule, the first decommissioning activities will start during 2026.  
The final stop of Tihange 2 marks an important milestone in the history of our site. My thanks go to all the employees who were involved in the construction and operation of the plant. Thanks to them, we can now look back with pride on 40 years of safe electricity production. With the same care, our employees have also been preparing for the dismantling of Tihange 2 for several years. The scale of this site is unseen in Wallonia to this day. I know we can count on our colleagues to tackle this new challenge with the same dedication and professional pride as ever. One thing will not change: nuclear safety will always remain our first priority, until the very last day.

Antoine Assice, Director of Tihange Nuclear Power Plant

40 years of Tihange 2 in numbers

1008 megawatts of power
11 963 days operational
Over 270 000 000 000 kilowatt hours of electricity produced

 More information: Tihange 2 permantenly shut down

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