Extending more than two nuclear reactors is dangerous, says Gilkinet

Extending more than two nuclear reactors is dangerous, says Gilkinet
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Extending more than two nuclear reactors would be dangerous, warned Ecolo deputy prime minister Georges Gilkinet in an interview with Le Soir published Saturday. The minister opposes the MR’s proposal to extend the life of the three other units still in operation.

As the energy uncertainty brought on by the Ukraine crisis continues, De Croo's Vivaldi government has reconsidered the question of Beligum's nuclear power, which it had long been due to phase out. Despite the advantages of nuclear power becoming ever-clearer, investment in the nation's nuclear park is lagging and only the Doel 4 and Tihange 3 plants will continue operating, for ten more years.

Yet some governing parties – MR in particular – are now calling for the extension of five reactors and possible even all of the seven in Belgium. This would help ensure the security of electricity supply that now is at risk for the winters of 2025-2026 and 2026-2027.

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Yet for Georges Gilkinet, whose party has historically opposed any prolongation of Belgium's reactors, “we will continue to push for the closure of the plants. The current plans to close five reactors have not been changed.” To prevent the real possibility of blackouts, the deputy prime minister speaks of “modulation” of three reactors rather than “extension”.

He challenged the MR bill to extend three reactors: “We are talking about nuclear reactors with single-walled tanks, honeycombed tanks, with hydrogen bubbles. We are talking about power stations that do not meet the conditions of resistance to seismic shocks, to the fall of an aeroplane… I remind you that Tihange is on the axis of the Bierset airport. The international safety standards are essential."

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