The Doel 1 nuclear reactor was taken off the network on Sunday evening after nearly 40 years of service, as set out in the law, its manager Electrabel have confirmed. It could be started up again later this year, if current negotiations between Electrabel and the government allow it. Electrabel wants to keep the reactors going for another 10 years. The Federal Agency for Nuclear control also has to give the green light. Doel 1 was taken off the network at 10.42pm. It entered into service on the 15th of February 1975, its twin in December that same year. Belgian legislation puts a 40 year limit of the lifetime of a nuclear reactor. An exception was made for Tihange 1 in 2013, whose life was extended by 10 years.
The law limits the life of a nuclear reactor in Belgium to 40 years. From a technical point of view, there is no reason to close Doel 1. “The centre is working well”, Electrabel insisted earlier this week.
If Doel 1 and 2 are not extended, there will have to be a wait of 3 to 4 years before they can be taken down.