No CO₂ is released during the production of electricity in nuclear power plants, because there is no combustion of fossil fuels as in conventional thermal power stations. CO₂ is one of the factors responsible for global warming.

Renewable energy and nuclear power are not competitors. On the contrary. They both emit little CO₂ and complement each other. As important as renewable energy is, it is not yet sufficient to meet current electricity demand. The reason is simple: the wind does not always blow, nor does the sun shine around the clock, and the technical solutions for storing surplus wind and solar energy are not yet effective enough.

 

What is modulation?

If Belgium does not have enough wind or solar energy, the nuclear power plants can ensure that there is enough electricity on the Belgian market. Nuclear power plants therefore provide stability and guaranteed energy production.

Unfortunately, an oversupply of renewable energy (on days when weather conditions are excellent) cannot be stored for the time being. Nuclear power plants may temporarily reduce their power output to offset oversupply and negative prices. This is called modulating.

Modulation ensures that renewable energy and nuclear power can complement each other. In Belgium, it has been authorized since 2012 to modulate certain nuclear power plants for economic reasons. The safety authorities (FANC) have determined the conditions on the basis of several feasibility studies and technical insights.

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