In compliance with the country's nuclear phase-out law, Belgium's Doel 3 reactor was shut down on Friday after being in operation for 40 years. From a report: Despite the energy crisis in Europe, the nuclear reactor in the town of Doel, north of the port city of Antwerp, will close on Friday. This is the first time a nuclear reactor will be permanently shut down in Belgium. The Doel 3 reactor, one of four reactors of the Doel Nuclear Power Plant, will disconnect from the grid at 21.15 local time due to the nuclear phase-out law enforced by past governments. The 1,006 megawatt-hours capacitated reactor was built in 1978, was grid connected in 1982, and operated for 40 years. Belgium hosts a total of seven reactors, four of which are at the Doel Nuclear Power Plant close to the Dutch border, while three are located at the Tihange Nuclear Power Plant, close to the Germany and Luxembourg border. The electricity produced by these reactors meets about half of the country's needs.
After the Russia-Ukraine war, Belgium decided to extend the operation period of the Doel 4 and Tihange 3 reactors by 10 years to avoid energy supply shortages. The reactors were previously planned to close in 2025. Decisions taken by previous governments prescribed that the Doel 3 and the Tihange 2 reactors would shut down in September and February next year, respectively. With the looming energy crisis, however, the current government started to work on extending the operation period of these reactors. Negotiations between the operators and the government concluded that it was not technically and legally possible to postpone the Doel 3 shutdown process at this stage.
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