Ministers dither on nuclear phase-out plan

1 March 2002

Belgium's "inner cabinet" have asked a working group of government energy advisers to review proposals aimed at phasing out nuclear power in the country.

The decision came after secretary for energy and sustainable development Olivier Deleuze presented the proposals at a meeting on February 20. Deleuze is a member of Belgium's Green party and a former manager of Greenpeace Belgium.

In a statement issued ahead of the meeting, Belgium's business community criticised the moves saying it was "too soon" to take a decision on the closure of any of the country's seven nuclear power units. The nuclear share of the country's electricty production was 58.2% in 2001.

The Belgian business federation said: "Right now, there is no good reason to decide on the closing of the power stations in 2014," adding: "On the contrary, the lack of alternative energies makes a change nearly impossible."

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