Tihange 2 nuclear reactor definitively shuts down on Tuesday

Tihange 2 nuclear reactor definitively shuts down on Tuesday
Credit: Nicolas Maeterlinck/Belga.

The Tihange 2 nuclear reactor will be definitively shut down on Tuesday evening, after 40 years of production. Engie-Electrabel, the supplier in charge of the reactor, is maintaining that the shutdown will not result in job losses for the hundred or so workers on site.

Having come into operation on 1 February 1983, Tihange 2 will be permanently disconnected from its power grid at 23:59, after producing 270 billion kWh of nuclear energy - triple the annual consumption in Belgium.

As previously stated, Engie does not expect that employees will lose their jobs as a result of the reactor shutting down. The supplier has announced that each worker on the Tihange 2 site has already found a new role either in the dismantling of operations or by working at other nuclear sites.

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The reactor shutting down is due to Belgian law on nuclear phase-out, which ensures that reactors only run for a 40-year period, with Doel 3 having been disconnected in September of last year.

However, plans had to change in March 2022 due to the energy crisis generated by the war in Ukraine. To improve the country's energy supply, the Federal Government agreed to extend the Doel 4 and Tihange 3 reactors, which was finally approved earlier this month after elongated negotiations with Engie.

Moreover, certain ministers had even called for the shutdown of Doel 3 to be postponed. But this appeared to be political posturing rather than a serious proposition. Especially with a spokesperson for Engie confirming to The Brussels Times that they had received no offer from the government to discuss a potential postponement.

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