Is Belgium the Next Country to Switch Off Nuclear Power?

According to a report in Renewables International, it could well be.

The publication said negotiations carried out by a coalition headed by the Social Democrats has convinced politicians to phase out nuclear, following in the footsteps of Germany and Switzerland, where authorities decided to move away from nuclear in the wake of the Fukushima disaster in Japan.

Belgium has a 2003 law that outlines the planned shutdowns between 2015 and 2025 but political inertia meant it was never enforced. The phasing would start in 2015 with three reactors being unplugged then. Altogether, Belgium has seven nuclear reactors at two plants, Doel and Tihange. 5860 MW will be lost with the nuclear exit of these two stations.

However, a successful transition from nuclear to alternative energy will depend on replacement capacity, Johan Albrecht, an expert from the Itinerar thinktank, told Reuters. The state of the economy will also influence the outcome of this decision. If demand for electricity decreases with a recession, then it will be easier to take capacity off the grid; if the economy goes stronger, it will be harder, he added.

Article by Antonio Pasolini, a Brazilian writer and video art curator based in London, UK. He holds a BA in journalism and an MA in film and television.

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