However, technically, there is no reason to stop after 40 years. The Belgian government already decided to allow Tihange 1 and Doel 1 and 2 to generate up to 50 years. The Netherlands will operate its power station at Borsele, at the border with Belgium, for 60 years and Switzerland also decided to keep its power stations open for 20 years longer. The European Commission assumes that by 2035 more than half of all nuclear power plants in Europe (roughly 2035 GW) will be in long term operations. The United States even plan to keep various nuclear power plants operating for up to 80 years.
A nuclear power plant must continuously meet the highest international standards. In Belgium, every power station must regularly provide evidence of this through a thorough safety review under the supervision of the Federal Agency for Nuclear Control (FANC). In addition, for the allocated operating extensions of Tihange 1 and Doel 1 and 2 Electrabel decided to increase investment to the value of EUR 1.3 billion to increase the safety and reliability of the power stations. These investments led among others things to:
- The reinforcement of fire prevention and firefighting systems.
- The extension of independent backup systems.
- The installation of additional filter systems which, in the event of an accident, capture the majority of the radioactivity.
- The replacement of steam turbines, main transformers, electrical cabinets and cables.
- Updating of the systems which control the power station.
As a result of these works, the power stations are therefore perfectly ready to produce safe electricity for a further 10 years.
Brochure LTO Doel 1 en 2 - juli 2017 (NL) (pdf, 16.33 MB)
Rapport LTO FANC juli 2012 (NL) (pdf, 2.35 MB)
Rapport LTO Doel juni 2012 (NL) (pdf, 1.59 MB)
Rapport LTO Tihange juni 2012 (FR) (pdf, 1.68 MB)
Persbericht LTO december 2011 (NL) (pdf, 230.61 KB)
Rapport LTO Doel december 2011 (NL) (pdf, 1.16 MB)
Rapport LTO Tihange december 2011 (FR) (pdf, 1.4 MB)
Strategienota FANC september 2009 (NL) (pdf, 120.47 KB)