Belgium looking to reach agreement on nuclear reactors by 21 July

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Tinne Van der Straeten, the Federal Energy Minister of Belgium, expressed optimism that the Federal Government and the Engie group could agree on extending two nuclear reactors by 21 July.

During an interview, the minister emphasized that she did not want to go on vacation until the agreement was finalized.

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“We want to be able to present a favourable agreement to the government, but also to parliamentarians and, indeed, to all Belgians,” she added.

According to the sources, in March, the government made the decision to extend the operation of the country’s two newest nuclear reactors until 2035, ten years after the original deadline.

The Federal Energy Minister, Van der Straeten, asserted that the ongoing Russian war with Ukraine was a major reason for the decision. The ten-year extension rule will allow for the production of two megawatts (MW) of electricity.

Moreover, Negotiations regarding the new decision are currently underway with Engie-Electrabel, the operator of Belgium’s national nuclear fleet, to implement this decision.

According to the information provided by the sources, the discussion is likely to be complicated because the operator has previously commented that it believes the deadline for such an extension has passed.

However, the minister stressed that the deadline of 21 July was still three weeks away while refusing to “go into details” while in the midst of talks with Engie-Electrabel.

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Although Minister Tinne Van der Straeten provided more details on Twitter, firstly, she stated that decommissioning nuclear reactors could cost up to €41 billion euros.

Furthermore, the ‘polluter-pays principle, which holds those responsible for pollution accountable for the damage done to the natural environment, will be written into law.

Belgians will also have their say on nuclear waste as the government will organise a ‘Grand National Dialogue’ on the matter.

With all of these propositions to be voted on in Parliament today, the minister concluded.

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