Dutch Government Supports Four New Nuclear Reactors

The incoming new government of the Netherlands reportedly will support construction of at least four new utility-scale nuclear power reactors, as part of a program to more than triple the amount of government money to fund nuclear projects.

Dutch media reported that Silvio Erkens, a member of the center-right VVD (People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy) that will be part of the new government, said officials already have a tender planned to determine the technology for at least the first two nuclear plants. Officials also have said they will consider buying a stake in the single-unit, 485-MW Borssele nuclear power station—currently the Netherlands only nuclear power facility—if officials decide to extend its current operation beyond the scheduled license expiration in 2033.

The 485-MW Borssele station is the Netherlands’ only nuclear power plant. Officials are looking at whether the plant’s operation should be extended beyond 2033. Source: EPZ

Borssele, with one pressurized water reactor, has operated since 1973. The International Atomic Energy Agency said the power plant provided about 3.3% of the country’s electricity as recently as 2022.

The new coalition government has said it has made funds available to study whether it is technically feasible, and also safe, to extend Borssele’s operating life. The nuclear power plant is 30% owned by German utility RWE. The remaining 70% is owned by the Zeeuwse Energie Houdstermaatschappij, a public limited company comprised of groups including the province of Zeeland and various municipalities in the province.

The incoming government reportedly will earmark €14 billion ($15.2 billion) for a nuclear power construction program. That program currently has about €4.5 billion ($4.9 billion) in funding. The new measures build on a program outlined by Dutch officials last year to extend Borssele’s life, and build new nuclear power generation, as part of the country’s climate initiatives.

Darrell Proctor is a senior associate editor for POWER (@POWERmagazine).

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