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Belgium's PM De Croo calls for extra 10 years of nuclear energy

Prime ministers of Spain and Belgium meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Belgium's Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said at the European Business Summit that the next Belgian government should consider an extra 10 years of nuclear energy on top of the 10 years his government is currently negotiating with Engie, a spokesperson said on Wednesday.

"We should definitely consider an extension of 20 years. That is something for the next federal government. The current government will not go beyond 10 years", De Croo said at the summit, according to Belgian newspaper De Standaard. The spokesperson confirmed the prime minister's comments.

Earlier this year, Belgium reached an agreement with Engie to extend the life of two nuclear reactors, Doel 4 and Tihange 3, by 10 years, and it is currently discussing the last details of those negotiations.

Tihange is a 1,038 megawatt (MW) reactor in eastern Belgium. Doel is a 1,039 MW reactor near the port city of Antwerp. The reactors, which entered service in 1985, make up 35% of the country's nuclear energy capacity.

Belgians head to the polls in June 2024 to vote for a new government.

(This story has been refiled with a new headline)

(Reporting by Charlotte Van Campenhout; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)