Belgium Agrees to Shut Down Nuclear Reactors

The Belgian government agreed to shut down all seven of its nuclear reactors by 2025, although it will continue to invest on nuclear power, following a longstanding debate on the controversial energy source.

The issue has divided the seven-party coalition of Greens, who pressed for Belgium’s 2003 nuclear exit deal to be respected, and the French-speaking liberals, who favored keeping two of the reactors open.

Belgian law has called for progressively phasing out nuclear power since 2003.

After all-night talks through Thursday, ministers have settled on a compromise to shut down all of its existing old reactors, but Belgium will continue to invest in greener forms of nuclear, according to local media RTBF.

The agreement earmarks 100 million euros to invest in research to find new and sustainable nuclear power.

A decision for how Belgium will make up for an energy shortfall caused by the shutdowns is expected to be reached by March next year. Ministers are currently considering a switch to gas-fired power plants, RTBF reported.

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