Phasing out nuclear energy: “FEB is right”

30 August 2017
Sortie du nucléaire : « La FEB a raison »

The Federation of Enterprises in Belgium ( FEB The Federation of Enterprises in Belgium (FEB) is an umbrella organisation of Belgian employers from different company sectors. The FEB represents more than 30,000 businesses, making it one of the main interlocutors in social dialogue in Belgium. FEB/VBO) has presented its energy vision. Among others, it contains an appeal for more realism and subsequent phasing out of nuclear energy: the employers’ organisation is concerned that closing all nuclear power plants as predicted in 2025 will not be possible without jeopardising supply security and cost price. “We can only applaud the FEB’s proposal to take supply security seriously and speed up realistic execution of the energy pact,” the N-VA responds. “The energy vision that should have been translated into specific actions starting in 2015 still has not materialised. It makes sense then too to consider all the options when it comes to supply security and affordability.”

In January the N-VA had already sounded the alarm that the energy vision is taking so long that the timeline for phasing out nuclear energy is starting to look hopeless. “Even if the life span of some nuclear power plants is extended, time is still running out,” the party believes. “The federal coalition agreement is, nonetheless, clear: the nuclear power plants can close on the condition that supply security is safeguarded. It is time to a realistic look at the future.”

Taking stakeholders seriously

Previous studies, including those by Elia and EnergyVille, have also concluded that nuclear energy will still need to be part of the energy mix after 2025. “We see the energy policy as far too important to allow policy approaches to be determined based on dogma. We prefer facts and figures,” the N-VA states, pointing out that the other parties are holding on to their dogmas. And that isn’t terribly consistent: “All parties have approved a resolution in the Flemish Parliament in which we ask all stakeholders to be involved in decision-making. The FEB, irrefutably one of those stakeholders, now submits a paper on energy to the authorised ministers, only to have the conclusions shot down straight away! This has been done without any knowledge of the texts and calculations.”

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