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Belgium shuts down another nuclear reactor

The Tihange 2 nuclear reactor, which has been operating in Belgium for 40 years, will be permanently shut down today.

Despite the energy crisis in Europe, the operation of the Tihange 2 nuclear reactor in Huy, Belgium will be stopped at 23:59 local time today.

Thus, the connection of the nuclear reactor, which became operational in 1983, to the electricity grid will cease after 40 years of service.

Tihange 2 reactor, one of the 3 reactors of the Tihange Nuclear Power Plant, which will be closed due to the nuclear exit law prepared in line with the decisions taken by the previous governments in Belgium, had an annual electricity production capacity of 1055 megawatt-hours.

In Belgium, a total of 7 reactors were operating, 4 at the Doel nuclear power plant near the Dutch border, and 3 at the Tihange nuclear power plant near the German and Luxembourg border. The electricity produced by these reactors normally met about half of the country's needs.

Before the Russo-Ukrainian War, the Belgian government had prepared a plan for the decommissioning of nuclear power plants in 2025.

Activities of 2 Reactors Will Be Extended

In accordance with the decisions of the past governments, the Doel 3 rector was closed in September last year, and the Tihange 2 reactor was decided to be closed in February 2023.

Due to the energy crisis, the current government has started to work to extend the operating period of these reactors, but in the negotiations between the operators of the reactors and the government, it was determined that it was not technically and legally possible to delay the shutdown process at this stage, and this would pose security risks.

On the other hand, Belgium decided to extend the operating period of Doel 4 and Tihange 3 reactors, which it had previously planned to shut down in 2025, by 10 years in order to avoid energy supply shortages after the war started. The 2 reactors, whose operating periods have been extended, are known as the nuclear facilities that the country last built in 1985.

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