N-plants face closure

Published: Sunday 31 March 2002

taking a cue from Sweden and Germany, Belgium is going ahead with its plan to phase out the country's nuclear reactors by 2025. Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt recently said that his cabinet would ask parliament to pass a controversial bill to this effect.

"We are going to proceed with the closure of nuclear plants between 2015 and 2025," he said and added, "It is a balanced and realistic decision."

If passed, the bill would shut down the nation's seven plants and ban the construction of new ones. Belgium gets nearly 60 per cent of its electricity from nuclear reactors, making it the most dependent country on nuclear power after France. It uses natural gas and coal to meet the rest of its needs. Verhofstadt said his government was looking at alternative energy sources to compensate for the expected loss.

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