Negotiators agree to keep nuclear plants
3 August 2007
BRUSSELS (AP) – Negotiators trying to form a coalition government agreed Thursday extend the lives of some of Belgium’s seven nuclear power reactors, citing uncertain future energy supplies.
The outgoing government of Liberals and Socialists agreed in 2003 to close all nuclear plants between 2014 and 2025.
But negotiators working to create Christian Democratic-Liberal government said they would back off that pledge. They would instead extend the lives of “several plants” in light of uncertain supplies and uncertain prospects for pollution-free energy production, according to a statement issued by Yves Leterme, the Christian Democratic leader who hopes to become the next premier.
Nuclear energy accounts for almost 60 percent of Belgium’s domestically generated electricity.
Environmental parties immediately criticised the possibility of keeping any nuclear plants operating past 2025.
King Albert II asked Leterme on July 16 to form a government after five weeks of political stalemate following national elections held on June 13. The outgoing coalition of Liberals and Socialists of Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt continues in office until a new government takes office.
[Copyright SP 2007]
Subject: Belgian news