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Belgium nuclear exit plan is revived

A deal to shut down Belgium’s two remaining nuclear power stations has been agreed in negotiations between Belgian political parties over the terms of a new government, according to the country’s media.

GDF-Suez unit Electrabel ” the owner of the two plants ” has yet to comment.

The agreement would confirm a law from 2003 that scheduled the closure of the three oldest reactors by 2015 and a complete exit by 2025. The two plants contain a total of seven reactors.

But the plan depends on finding enough energy from alternative sources to keep the country running, said Belgian news agency Belga and Flemish state broadcaster VRT.

In 2009, Belgium’s government decided to keep its oldest nuclear reactors running until 2025 but the administration lost power before passing the measure.

Taxing Electrabel more heavily for operating the plants has also been discussed in current talks over forming a ruling coalition. The company agreed in 2009 to pay €215″245m per year for 2010-14. But Elio Di Rupo of the Socialist party is reported to want to charge the nuclear power industry €1bn ($1.37bn) per year.

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