Belgian Premier Guy Verhofstadt said the government will introduce legislation to phase out the country’s use of nuclear energy.

The Liberal-led government – Belgium’s first coalition to include the Greens – came to power two years ago promising to end the domestic nuclear energy business. Olivier Deleuze, the green Secretary of State for Energy and Sustainable Development, welcomed the announcement and confirmed that he would introduce a draft law this year. The bill, which should become law by the end of 2002, will wind down the sector over the next 40 years.

During August the Doel and Tihange plants supplied the country with 3430 million kWh, or 54.1% of the total amount of electricity generated that month.