Nuclear deal Reactors restart in November 2026 Le Soir

Nuclear deal: Reactors restart in November 2026 Le Soir

The Belgian state and Engie have reached a draft contract for the expansion of the power plants. It stipulates that both parties will make every effort to restart Doel 4 and Tihange 3 on November 1, 2026. The agreement also includes a formula for calculating the cost of nuclear waste disposal.

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Info “Evening” – By Bernard Demonty, Bernard Padoan and David Coppi Published on 01/09/2023 at 16:34 Reading time: 2 min

The Belgian government, represented by Alexander De Croo, Prime Minister, and Tinne Van der Sraeten, Minister of Energy, has reached a draft agreement with Engie on the expansion of the two nuclear reactors, Tihange 3 and Doel 4, to meet the electricity needs arising by 2026.

The two parties commit to making every “best effort”, that is, making every effort, to allow the two reactors to restart on November 1, 2026. They are also creating a joint structure in which the Belgian state and Engie will be shareholders to manage the two reactors. “This will end years of dependency on decision-making centers far from Brussels,” commented a source close to the government.

Of course, the thorny issue of nuclear waste remains, the cost of which Engie has to bear. According to the first information available to us, the two parties have agreed on a calculation method that will make it possible to determine the exact amount of funding that Engie will pay to the Belgian State in 2024. Other sources tell us that it is a “cap”. That is, if the final cost is lower, the state wins; if it is higher, the taxpayer pays. But the answer will only be known in a few decades, knowing that the burial of refuse – which has still not been officially decided by the Belgian state – is a project that should last … a century.

It is now up to the administration and Ondraf, the organization that manages radioactive waste, to apply the formula to arrive at the amount to be paid in 2024. still be the subject of negotiations, “we are told. “It was never said that the sum to be funded would be fixed immediately. But the formula is now established, it must be applied. »

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Still in the ranks of the Belgian government, we are told that this agreement will allow the studies and operations to start now before the restart. “The procedures for obtaining the environmental permits, as well as the technical, environmental and financial studies can start immediately. »