BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The Belgian government has reached a deal confirming that its existing nuclear power plants will close in 2025, while keeping up investment in nuclear power technology, public broadcasters RTBF and VRT said on Thursday.
The seven-party coalition has wrestled for weeks on the topic, with the Greens adamant that a 2003 law setting out a nuclear exit be respected, while the French-speaking liberals favoured keeping the two newest reactors open.
Belgium’s two nuclear plants, with seven reactors in total, are operated by French utility Engie.
After talks through the night, a core group of ministers have settled on a compromise whereby the last existing nuclear power plant will close in 2025, the broadcasters said.
However, Belgium will invest 100 million euros ($113.4 million) in research into future nuclear power, with emphasis on smaller modular reactors.
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The government is due to hold a news conference at 11 a.m. (1000 GMT).
Belgium still needs to establish how to make up for the energy shortfall, with gas-fired plants being an option. A decision on that may only be taken by March.
(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop)
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