Operations at the Doel 1 and 2 nuclear plants have been slowed down due to the excessive heat, according to the Engie company, which operates the nuclear power plants.
The heat threatens to raise the temperature of the cooling water discharged into the Scheldt. It has therefore been decided to halve the capacity of both power stations, Engie said.
Environmental legislation requires that the average temperature of the cooling water discharged into the Scheldt over 24 hours must not exceed 32 degrees. "We came close to that, so it was decided to slow down operations at Doel 1 and Doel 2," spokesperson Nele Scheerlinck said.
In concrete terms, both power stations will only operate at half their capacity until Wednesday morning.
There is no problem for Doel 3 and 4, which work with large cooling towers, while at the Tihange plant, the power of the nuclear reactors does not need to be adjusted.
In France, temperature limits for discharged cooling water were recently lifted for four reactors to avoid affecting the performance of the network during the heatwave. France has many nuclear power stations that do not produce electricity, which puts pressure on electricity prices.
Of the 56 French nuclear power plants, 29 are not in use.