Nuclear energy

ENGIE has been a pioneer in nuclear energy for more than 55 years and is one of the rare European groups which has first rate skills all along the nuclear value chain: engineering, development, purchasing, construction and installation, operating and maintenance, nuclear fuel cycle, radioactive waste management, decommissioning and clean-up. Nuclear at ENGIE means 9000 highly motivated and committed employees with very specific skills, 7000 of whom work in the areas of engineering and services. 


The Group recognizes that nuclear energy is a source of electricity emitting little CO2, providing a high availability factor with easy access to fuel, significantly contributing to the energy transition in countries which have made the choice and to the objectives for the reduction of greenhouse gases. 


With this strong conviction, ENGIE intends to remain as a major player in this industry and its strategy rests on 2 major priorities: 


  • Operating its nuclear power stations in Belgium 


ENGIE Electrabel operates 7 nuclear reactors in Belgium, 4 in Doel and 3 in Tihange. In accordance with the current law, it will proceed with the safe shutdown of these between 2022 and 2025: Doel 3 in 2022, Tihange 3 in 2023 and the other reactors in 2025. Their shutdown will be followed by their decommissioning and dismantling, which will be completed by 2040. 


  • Developing its service activities


In addition to its substantial experience as an operator, ENGIE can also rely on its many engineering and nuclear service subsidiaries. It can provide its expertise not only to existing nuclear plants (in the areas of maintenance and extending operational lifetime), but also to planned new nuclear power stations, as well as in the decommissioning and radioactive waste management markets. 


To support these 2 strategic priorities, ENGIE conducts a proactive approach in terms of nuclear safety and skills and talent management with a concern for continuous improvement. In addition, ENGIE develops partnerships with major companies active in the nuclear industry and pursues Research and Innovation activities. 


The role of nuclear power in the energy transition


Nuclear energy contributes significantly to the energy transition, in countries which have made the choice, and to the objectives of the COP21 for a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions: 


  • Nuclear energy is a proven, reliable technology which produces a large amount of relative adaptable electricity with a high rate of availability, while generating little CO2.
  • It contributes to energy independence for a country through uranium procurement stability, the limited amount of fuel required for energy production and low exposure to the price of raw materials compared to fossil fuels. Once the power plant is built and operational, it can be an economically profitable solution with its predictable and stable costs.
  • Existing nuclear installations, particularly in Europe, contribute to a low carbon, diversified energy mix, advantageously supplementing renewable energy sources.