Belgium advances plan to extend operations at Doel, Tihange

July 27, 2022, 9:30AMNuclear News
The Doel nuclear power plant in Belgium along with the De Molen windmill in foreground. (Photo: Trougnouf)

The Belgian government has signed a nonbinding letter of intent with Electrabel, a subsidiary of the French utility Engie, to keep nuclear a part of Belgium’s energy mix for an additional 10 years.

Electrabel operates Belgium’s two nuclear power plants, the four-unit Doel and three-unit Tihange.

Belgium to extend operation of two reactors by 10 years

March 21, 2022, 9:30AMNuclear News
The Doel nuclear power plant in Belgium.

In a move motivated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the sky-high energy prices hitting Europe as a result, the Belgian government last Friday announced its intention to extend the operational life of two of its nuclear power reactors, Doel-4 and Tihange-3, through 2035.

Europe’s confused climate strategy

March 18, 2022, 3:55PMNuclear NewsMatthew L. Wald

Europeans are taking resolute steps to reduce their output of climate-changing gases, but some countries are moving in the wrong direction.

Many countries are adding solar and wind, which are low-carbon energy sources. Some have moved to biomass, the value of which as a climate cure is not clear. A few are adding reactors, while others are defining nuclear as dirty energy and natural gas as “clean” and are changing their generation mix accordingly.

Nuclear included in IEA plan to reduce Russian gas imports

March 14, 2022, 9:30AMANS Nuclear Cafe

The European Union could reduce imports of Russian natural gas by more than a third within a year through a combination of measures that would support energy security and affordability and would be consistent with the European Green Deal, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency.

“Nobody is under any illusions anymore,” said IEA executive director Fatih Birol on announcing the release of the report, A 10-Point Plan to Reduce the European Union’s Reliance on Russian Natural Gas. “Russia’s use of its natural gas resources as an economic and political weapon shows Europe needs to act quickly to be ready to face considerable uncertainty over Russian gas supplies next winter. . . . Europe needs to rapidly reduce the dominant role of Russia in its energy markets and ramp up the alternatives as quickly as possible.”

Germany disappoints again, Belgium flirts with reason

March 11, 2022, 7:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe
The Neckarwestheim nuclear power plant in Germany.

After offering a small shred of hope that it might be persuaded to keep its remaining power reactors in operation a bit longer to reduce its dependence on Russia for energy, Germany has opted to continue with its nuclear phaseout. The last three operating German reactors, Neckarwestheim-2, Isar-2, and Emsland, are slated for shutdown later this year.

Belgium to close both nuclear plants by 2025

December 23, 2021, 12:00PMNuclear News
The Tihange nuclear power plant in Belgium. (Photo: Electrabel)

Belgium’s seven-party coalition government this morning announced via press conference a tentative agreement to close the nation’s two nuclear power plants by 2025, confirming a commitment made in October of last year when it took office. Plant closures are scheduled to begin in 2022.

Group exhorts Belgium to rethink nuclear phaseout

August 26, 2021, 9:30AMNuclear News
Engie Electrabel’s four-unit Doel nuclear plant, in East Flanders, Belgium. Units 1, 2, and 4 are to be closed in 2025; Unit 3 is to be shuttered in 2022. (Photo: Torsade de Pointes)

A pronuclear think tank in Belgium has written a letter to the country’s prime minister, Alexander De Croo, urging him to reevaluate the government’s plan to phase out nuclear power generation by 2025 and replace it with gas power.

IRE produces first batch of LEU-based Mo-99

May 6, 2020, 8:51AMNuclear News

Belgium’s National Institute of Radioelements (IRE) announced on April 30 that it has produced its first batch of commercial molybdenum-99 from low-enriched uranium (LEU) targets. The first batch of Mo-99, whose decay product, technetium-99m, is used in nuclear medicine for diagnostic imaging, was produced for the U.S. health market. IRE said that the conversion to LEU represents a key milestone for the institute in the global commitment to end the civilian use of highly enriched uranium (HEU) for the production of Mo-99.