Lifetime extension for Borssele

11 January 2006

The nuclear unit at Borssele, the only operating power reactor in the Netherlands, is set to continue to operate through to 2033, following a recent government request to parliament. According to a statement from the environment ministry, "Borssele should be closed no later than in 2033 unless security considerations made an earlier closure necessary."

Given parliamentary approval, the Dutch government will allow the 450MWe reactor to stay open two decades longer than the originally planned 2013. The decision was based on concerns over carbon emissions and followed a pledge from the reactor's operators, EPZ owned by utilities Essent and Delta, to donate €250 million to renewable energy projects and research in the six years to 2012.

The environment ministry, meanwhile, plans to invest a similar amount to ensure the safety of the plant with a condition of the extension that the plant remains one of the “top 25 safest nuclear reactors” in the EU, USA and Canada.

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