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Belgium and French power utility Engie have agreed to extend the life of unit 4 at the Doel NPP and unit 3 at the Tihange NPP by 10 years. This “Heads of Terms and Commencement of LTO Studies Agreement” paves the way for the conclusion of more detailed agreements in the upcoming months. It provides for the immediate start of environmental and technical studies before formal authorisations related to the extension are issued. The two parties in July 2022 had signed a "non-binding letter of intent" concerning the life extension. The two 1.03 GWe reactors have been in service since 1985.

Date: Friday, 13 January 2023
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsbelgium-and-engie-agree-to-extend-operation-of-doel-4-and-tihange-3-10511427

Deal will allow country to take back control of its ‘energy destiny’, prime minister says The three-unit Tihange nuclear power station in Belgium. Courtesy Engie. Belgium has reached an agreement with French utility Engie to extend the life of two nuclear power plants by 10 years, the prime minister said on Monday (9 January), reversing a plan to phase out reactors in 2025 as it looks for ways to secure reliable energy supply in the face of rising prices caused by the war in Ukraine.

The Doel-4 and Tihange-3 reactors were due to close for good in 2025, but will now restart in November 2026 after necessary work and will continue operating for 10 years.

The two Generation II plants are the newest of Belgium’s six reactors – three at Doel and three at Tihange – and began operation in 1985. Both are 1,038-MW pressurised water reactor units supplied by Framacec, a consortium of Framatome, ACEC and Cockerill.

“The extension of these two nuclear reactors is crucial to guarantee our energy security,” prime minister Alexander De Croo told a news conference. He said the deal would allow the country to take back control of its “energy destiny”.

Date: Wednesday, 11 January 2023
Original article: nucnet.org/news/government-confirms-agreement-to-extend-operation-of-two-reactors-by-10-years-1-2-2023

French utility Engie and the Belgian federal government have signed an agreement with a view to restarting the Doel 4 and Tihange 3 nuclear power reactors in 2026 and operating them for a further ten years. Both units are currently scheduled to be shut down in 2025.

Date: Wednesday, 11 January 2023
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Accord-reached-on-extending-operation-of-Belgian-u

Unit 3 of Belgium’s Doel NPP was shut down earlier this year in accordance with the 2003 Belgian law on nuclear phase-out, and work to prepare the reactor for dismantling has now begun and can continue in line with a ruling from the Brussels Court of First Instance.

Date: Wednesday, 23 November 2022
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsbelgian-court-permits-decommissioning-of-doel-npp-unit-3-10376629

Global optimism ‘rising’ about potential of reactors to help achieve net zero emissions Fatih Birol (left) and Rafael Grossi at the International Atomic Energy Agency discussion on nuclear power at Cop27 in Egypt. Courtesy IAEA. Nuclear power is making “a strong comeback”, but the international financial community has so far “failed” to provide the level playing field needed for nuclear to help the world tackle its most pressing challenges, from climate change to sustainable development, International Energy Agency (IEA) executive director Fatih Birol told the Cop27 United Nations climate conference in in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

Birol told an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) discussion on nuclear power: “I don’t give them a passing grade.”

“Countries that were saying goodbye to nuclear power, they are rethinking their plans,” Birol said, adding that the IEA had been engaged in talks with both Belgium and Germany.

“We are very happy that both governments are now in the process of postponing their nuclear phaseout plans, understanding the role that nuclear plays in addressing this energy security challenge,” he said.

In addition, another group of countries is now considering extending the lifetime of their existing nuclear power reactors to respond to this challenge, which is one of the cheapest forms of low carbon power, Birol said. Still another group of countries are rolling out plans to build new reactors, including seemingly “surprising” ones such as the Netherlands and Poland as well as Japan and South Korea.

Date: Friday, 11 November 2022
Original article: nucnet.org/news/nuclear-making-strong-comeback-but-financial-community-has-failed-to-provide-level-playing-field-11-4-2022

Several Belgian NGOs are taking the Belgian state and energy company Engie-Electrabel and transmission system operator Elia to court over the closure of unit 3 at the Doel NPP and unit 2 at Tihange NPP, RTBF news has reported.

Date: Wednesday, 05 October 2022
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsngos-take-legal-action-over-closure-of-belgian-npps-10060998

Belgium has shut down its first nuclear reactor as part of a planned nuclear power phase-out, despite last minute attempts by some government officials to delay the closure in the face of increasing energy shortages in Europe due to sanctions on Russian gas and oil.

Date: Wednesday, 28 September 2022
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsbelgium-shuts-down-doel-3-10038427

Unit 3 of the Doel nuclear power plant was disconnected from the grid at 9.31pm on 23 September, in accordance with Belgium's legislation on the gradual phase-out of nuclear energy. Doel 3 is the first of seven Belgian reactors to be taken out of service over the coming years.

Date: Wednesday, 28 September 2022
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/First-Belgian-power-reactor-shut-down

Belgium’s Federal Agency for Nuclear Control (FANC) may consider postponing the closure of Doel NPP unit 3, according to Belgian press reports. On 14 September, it was reported that the Doel 3 would be permanently closed for decommissioning on 23 September. However, the issue has been topic of debate within the federal government in view of the growing European energy crisis.  

Date: Wednesday, 21 September 2022
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsfuture-of-belgiums-doel-3-still-unclear-10020732