Present situation of the Belgian nuclear power plants: Electrabel’s reaction

In its agreement of September 2020, the federal government reaffirms its policy to phase out nuclear power in Belgium by 2025. The agreement also leaves room to consider an extension of the 2 most recent units (Tihange 3 and Doel 4) if uncertainties regarding the country's security of supply persist at the end of 2021.

Being a responsible operator, Electrabel works in strict compliance with the law. Electrabel staff are therefore preparing the shutdown and dismantling of Doel 3 and Tihange 2, which will be the first units to be taken out of service in 2022 and 2023 respectively. 

As for Tihange 3 and Doel 4, an extension is only possible when certain legal, financial and technical constraints are taken into account, which require a decision by the end of 2020 at the latest, as has already been made known to the authorities. The operator is responsible for safely managing a possible shutdown and the dismantling and must begin preparing the necessary studies.

Consequently, Electrabel must now prepare both scenarios: a full phase-out and a partial extension. It is in this sense that the Chief Nuclear Officer has addressed the Doel and Tihange teams.

The ENGIE Group remains at the disposal of the authorities to contribute to the country's security of supply and local production of carbon-free electricity, within the limits of its responsibilities. Furthermore, ENGIE confirms that it is preparing projects for gas-fired plants, with the aim of participating in the auction system next autumn, once the Belgian CRM system has been approved by the European authorities.