FANC open to extending life of Doel 3 nuclear reactor

FANC open to extending life of Doel 3 nuclear reactor
Credit: Belga / Eric Lalmand.

The Federal Agency for Nuclear Control (FANC) appears to be open to postponing preparations for the Doel 3 reactor's dismantlement, as will be discussed by the Federal Government at an upcoming meeting.

On Wednesday, it was reported that the Doel 3 power station would be permanently decommissioned on 23 September and would no longer supply roughly 7,500 GWh of electricity to Belgian consumers (according to the World Nuclear Association).

However, the shutting down of the reactor has been topic of debate among members of the Federal Government, due to the urgency of the ensuing energy crisis as well as their various party lines on nuclear power.

On Thursday, Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden (CD&V) asked the FANC whether the dismantling operation could be safely postponed, and allow a subsequent relaunch. A request to which the agency responded on Thursday evening in a statement given to Belga News Agency.

“An alternative timetable for the preparation of dismantling, on the proposal of the operator Electrabel, is not excluded, provided that nuclear safety is sufficiently ensured”, the FANC stated.

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To that end, the FANC will share their analysis in detail to the Federal Government, who will then discuss said postponement at a Ministerial Council scheduled for Friday.

Nonetheless, the ruling coalition's green parties are reportedly to be disappointed by Verlinden's request, as Energy Minister Tinne Van der Straeten (Groen) was not consulted on the matter.

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