In Belgium, where the final decision on the phasing out has yet to be made, the government is struggling uncomfortably on the hook. Green Energy Minister Tinne van der Straeten tweeted on March 7 that she had an “open mind to nuclear power”, and that an energy security override built into the phase-out plan could still allow her to delay the two most modern reactors without to suffer complete loss of face. The coalition’s plan was to replace lost power plants with renewables and gas, but that would weaken Belgium’s energy security and raise both prices and emissions – not exactly the ideal outcome. Research by the climate think tank Ember suggests that, if nuclear power is abandoned, the carbon intensity of the Belgian electricity grid could increase by a quarter by 2030.

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