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Belgium could postpone initial plan to phase out nuclear power until 2025 over conflict in Ukraine

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According to the quoted source, a new bill to be approved by the end of March aims to extend the life of the newest two reactors by up to 10 years.

Energy Minister Tinne Van der Straeten presented a note to cabinet members on Wednesday, which the public broadcaster RTBF said was referring to a bill to be approved by the end of March. The purpose of the bill is to extend the life of the newest two reactors by up to 10 years.

However, a spokesman for the Ministry of Energy said on Thursday that Van der Straeten had specified options in his note and that no decision was imminent, informs News.ro.

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The Belgian Minister of Energy is expected to establish a plan on Friday to reduce Belgium’s dependence on fossil fuels, especially those from Russia. The plan calls for an increase in the number of offshore wind farms, more solar panels and a reduction in gas and oil heating by 2026.

Belgium’s decision to abandon nuclear energy was initially based on a switch to natural gas, including a gas plant to be built just north of Brussels, although approval was uncertain.

The ruling coalition has decided by the end of 2021 to wait until mid-March to see if approval is granted. Otherwise, it will consider other options.

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The two reactors whose operation could be extended are the 1,038 megawatt reactor at the Tihange plant (eastern Belgium) and the 1,039 megawatt reactor at the Doel plant (near Antwerp). Together, the two reactors cover 35% of the country’s total nuclear power capacity.

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