Generators and major users of power in Belgium have come together in a consortium called Blue Sky to contract supplies of nuclear power.
Not all of Europe is moving away from nuclear power. If Germany has taken the lead of the no-nuke campaign, Italy did surrender to anti-technology, anti-development propaganda, while Switzerland has to deal with its strong Germanic soul, Belgium is exploring new ways.
Power generators Electrabel and GDF Suez have signed an agreement with six companies involved in a range of energy-intensive activities including the production of chemicals, gases, plastics, steel and speciality metals. The six will have the right to draw 200 MWe from Electrabel’s Doel 1, Doel 2 and Tihange 1 nuclear reactors, a quantity equals to about 11% of those units’ total capacity.
Due to become active 1 January 2012, the agreement has no actual expiration date: it is thought to continue until the reactors are eventually taken out of service. This is currently set by politicians for 2025, although they could possibly operate for a further decade based on safety and economic considerations alone.
A further agreement has seen the group agree to jointly invest in up to 200 MWe of new nuclear generation capacity, should this occur.
The Blue Sky group will also jointly invest in another 200 MWe tranche of new power generation capacity in the form of a combined-cycle gas-fired plant.