Tihange 3 nuclear reactor unplugged | Current Europe | DW

 Tihange 3 nuclear reactor unplugged |  Current Europe |  DW

The reason for the shutdown is a drop in pressure in one of the three steam generators, according to the Belga news agency, citing the operator Engie. The reactor is scheduled to start up again later this week. A spokesman for Engie said the shutdown would have no impact on the safety of the facilities. The Tihange 3 nuclear power plant is about 60 kilometers from the German border.

In Germany there has long been criticism of the Belgian power plants from the 1970s and 80s. Several defects were found in the reactors in the neighboring country, such as dilapidated concrete parts. The city of Aachen and the federal government have therefore repeatedly called for the nuclear power plants to be shut down in the past.

Ukraine war changed view of nuclear power

The original plan was to shut down all Belgian nuclear power plants by 2025. Against the background of the Ukraine war and massively increased energy prices, the government in Brussels now wants to keep the Tihange 3 and Doel 4 reactors running until at least the end of 2035 in order to ensure energy security. However, this has not yet been formally decided. Last year, around half of Belgium’s electricity production came from nuclear power.

In Germany, too, two of the three nuclear power plants that are still active are expected to remain connected to the grid until next spring, the southern German reactors Isar 2 and Neckarwestheim.

There are problems in France, where nuclear power is the backbone of the country’s electricity supply at around 70 percent. A series of repairs and overdue maintenance work has recently caused electricity production to fall. Almost half of the 56 French nuclear power plants are currently not connected to the grid.

qu/gri (dpa)


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