September 24, 2022

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Minister Van der Straiten sends billions of dollars to the nuclear exit of Engie Electrabel

Minister Van der Straiten sends billions of dollars to the nuclear exit of Engie Electrabel

what is he talking about?

The Nuclear Exit Act provides for the closure of the last nuclear power plants in our country by the end of 2025. In order to finance the decommissioning of Belgian nuclear power plants and the disposal of nuclear waste, 41 billion euros will be needed in the coming decades.

“Dismantle and salvage is the longest, most expensive and most accurate shipyard our country has ever known,” said Minister van der Straiten. The works will continue until at least 2135.

Who will pay for that?

According to the minister, the energy company Engi Elektrabel is “responsible for the nuclear energy bill that is outstanding in the billions.” The nuclear pig bank Synatom is used for this purpose, a subsidiary in which Engie set aside 14 billion euros of nuclear allotment at the end of last year to fund the clean-up.

But with long fear that the money will not be available when the time comes, Minister van der Straiten has now put in place stricter legislation to ensure the money will be there for the nuclear cleanup. After all, the bulk of Synatom’s piggy bank isn’t actually in an account. For example, Electrabel was allowed to borrow it from itself to finance all kinds of energy projects elsewhere in the world. The new law states that Engie Electrabel will repay the loans to Synatom.

There will also be stricter oversight by the Nuclear Facilities Commission (CNV). If Electrabel wants to pay a dividend to its French parent company Engie, it will first have to obtain approval from the commission.

How does Engy Elektrapil interact?

Electrabel takes note of the plans and will “analyze them to determine their consequences”. “We would like to confirm that we have consistently fulfilled all of our obligations, as stipulated in the 2003 law, and have a strong credit rating.”

Is the nuclear flight coming and then real?

Under current law, all seven power plants must be closed permanently in 2025. However, the coalition agreement leaves open the door to extending the life of the Doel 4 and Tihange 3 reactors. The MR’s French-speaking liberals fully support the latter scenario. The green parties are totally against it.

In a letter to Prime Minister Alexandre de Croo (Open Vld), Inge Electrabel announced this week that she sees no other option than a full nuclear exit. There is no time left for the so-called Plan B to keep the two newest nuclear power plants open for much longer.

The letter from the energy company set the debate on fire again. N-VA Chairman Bart de Wever, who feared a power shortage during the nuclear exit and sided with MR President Georges Louis Bochese on this dossier, doubts the time has come. He points to the subsidies that Engy Elektrabel will receive to build gas-fired power plants, which should absorb the phase-out of nuclear power.

“The fundamental question is: What will be the richest Engi now: continue to produce cheap nuclear power, or mobilize next year 200 million subsidies from Mrs. Van der Straiten to produce very dirty gas power? De Wever said yesterday on Radio 1. The main question has not been He asked, “Angie has won a lifelong win with these benefits. In fact, Van der Straten bribed Angie, and I have no other word to suggest that.”

In response to these statements, Minister van der Straiten spoke on VRT yesterday Politics Villa From “A New Level of Rhetoric” by de Wever.

In any case, the nuclear exit seems closer than ever. Prime Minister Alexandre de Croo (Open Vld) responded to the debate in the Chamber of Deputies. He fully supports the Secretary of Energy and is determined to “systematically implement what is in the coalition agreement. Finally, we make sure that we take our future into our own hands in this case.”

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