September 25, 2022

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The federal government has not yet reached an agreement on the phase-out of nuclear weapons

The federal government has not yet reached an agreement on the phase-out of nuclear weapons

Senior federal government ministers met throughout Monday evening on a nuclear exit, but no agreement was reached yet. And government departments say that the file will be transferred to the treasury, today, Tuesday, to clarify a number of technical and legal questions.

The government nucleus met on 16 Weststrates just after 7 p.m., and the eventual shutdown of nuclear power plants in 2025 was on the table.

The basic government lasted until a little over 1 a.m., but no agreement was reached. Government officials said then that the nucleus had considered all options “in depth”.

Senior ministers will meet again later this week on the energy dossier, but the discussion will first move to ministerial working groups. The source explained that they have to clear a number of technical and legal issues as of tomorrow morning “to move structurally towards the decision.” Ensuring supplies and keeping prices under control remain the ‘sole objectives’.

Listen to the latest episode of the Great Equal Debate podcast. Colleagues Pascal Sertin and Lisa de Bode made all the arguments for and against nuclear energy.

So far, Prime Minister Alexandre de Croo has met the deadline set for the end of this year. A government source said Monday morning that “all the elements are on the table” for a decision, though it was said elsewhere that there was “no deadline” today.

The Deputy Prime Minister, Sophie Wilmès, was the only one seated at the table who frankly looked at her papers during the meeting. At about half past nine, an interview with her appeared on the website of EveningTo the frustration of some of her colleagues, she insists on extending the latest nuclear power plants and urges the government to start preparations quickly. As far as Velmis is concerned, the final deal doesn’t have to be this week.

In its coalition agreement, the federal government agreed to continue to phase out nuclear weapons by 2025 – “Plan A” – but left an opportunity to keep the younger two reactors open for a while if supplies or affordability were compromised – “Plan B”. According to MR, this is now the case as the Flemish government has refused permission to build a new gas-fired power plant in Vilvoorde, which should partly compensate for the capacity loss of nuclear reactors.

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The fact that the primary operator Inge has already explicitly rejected the life-extension scenario several times has nothing to do with French-speaking liberals. It’s “technically and legally feasible” in an interview with Le Soir, Willems said, but “the longer we wait, the harder it becomes to throw that safety net.”

In any case, Engie is submitting a new permit application for the project in Vilvoorde, but if that doesn’t work, other solutions are on the table in the form of new gas-fired power plants in Manage or Seraing. Ecolo’s deputy prime minister, George Gilkennet, also pointed to battery storage as a potential solution ahead of the primary cabinet meeting. As far as the Minister of Mobility is concerned, he should be “sure” Plan A. “We have to prepare for the future. Minister (Energy, ed.) Van der Straiten has been doing this very well from the start.

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