This decision was taken in the context of major geopolitical changes in Europe, namely the war in Ukraine, the impact of this war on gas supplies to neighboring countries, the unforeseen unavailability of several French nuclear power plants and the impact of all these elements on Belgium’s electricity supply.
Discussions on extending the lifetime of Doel 4 and Tihange 3 are proceeding constructively. In a joint agreement in principle, the Belgian State and Engie have agreed on the modalities concerning the future approach, the timing and the framework of the negotiations.
This framework consists of:
The extension of the operation of Doel 4 and Tihange 3, representing a total nuclear capacity of 2 GW. The Belgian State will not be the operator. The two parties are prepared to discuss and agree on the conditions for the start-up of the reactors in November 2026, subject to the approval of the regulatory authorities.
A stable and sustainable structure in which the Belgian State and Engie share the risks as well as the benefits through a new company to be created.
The costs of dismantling nuclear power plants and managing fissile materials and radioactive waste are borne by the operator. The costs of waste and spent nuclear fuel management will be determined after a study, following which discussions will begin around a “cap” and a risk premium to be defined. The parties will continue discussions in the same constructive atmosphere. Expert working groups will also be set up. All this with the aim of reaching a final agreement by the end of the year and submitting it to the European Commission.
The federal government stresses the importance of this agreement in principle. It is a sign of trust between the two parties and important for the security of supply in our country.