A new study by the Energyville research centre casts doubts on the financial soundness of further extending the life of Belgium’s nuclear plants, ‘Le Soir’ and ‘De Standaard’ dailies reported on Thursday. The study is, in fact, an updated version of a report done last year at the request of Febeliec, the Belgian federation of large electricity consumers. Greenpeace asked the research centre, which links the Catholic University of Leuven and the University of Hasselt, to modify two initial parameters: the price of gas, which is lower than expected, and the availability of nuclear reactors.
The nuclear plants are scheduled to close in 2025. In that case, the annual cost of Belgium’s electricity system will be 5.415 billion euros in 2030, three times more than the current cost. If the two most recent reactors are kept working until 2035, the cost would drop to 5.130 billion euros.
On the other hand, by 2040, the two scenarios would amount to roughly the same cost, about 7.19 billion euros, with just a difference of about two million euros between them.
According to Jan Vande Putte, an energy expert at Greenpeace, prolonging nuclear generation merely postpones the required investments in replacement capacity.