Belgium is a small European country with political parties that don’t usually agree. But one thing they do agree on is their country’s energy future–and it doesn’t lie in nuclear power.
Although nuclear energy currently accounts for over half of the country’s energy, Belgium’s leaders recently announced that both of its commercial nuclear sites will be closed permanently by 2025.
The two Belgian nuclear sites are located at opposite ends of the country. Doel Nuclear Power Station is on the northwest side near the port of Antwerp. The Tihange Nuclear Power Station is to the southwest along the Meuse River.
Although the country drew up plans to phase out its nuclear power plants back in 2003, public hostility towards nuclear energy since Japan’s nuclear crisis at Fukushima, encouraged leaders to announce formal plans for implementation.
And Belgium isn’t the only country to bail on nuclear energy since Fukushima.
Since the disaster, Japan abandoned its plans for 14 new nuclear plants and Germany announced that it would shut down all 17 of its nuclear plants by 2022. Switzerland followed Germany’s example by agreeing to eliminate its dependence on nuclear energy by 2034.
Belgium, like these other countries, is confident that its growing energy consumption needs can be met through renewable sources.
Image Credit: Flickr – paul_everett82
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