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Netherlands ‘taking steps’ towards new nuclear plants

The Dutch government is “taking steps” towards the construction of two new nuclear power plants, according to a national energy system plan outlined last week.

According to the outline published on Friday, a scenario study is being conducted into the relationship between various types of CO2-free capacity and how nuclear energy can be integrated into the Dutch power mix. The study is also looking at the cost efficiency of nuclear energy at the system level and the potential benefits in terms of use of space and infrastructure investments. The outline also says the role that nuclear energy can play in the production of hydrogen will be explored.

The outline states that future domestic capacity will cover “approximately” the Netherlands’ direct annual power demand and that given the variable nature of renewable generation, flexibility must increase. The required adjustable generation — which nuclear generation offers, the outline says — would also have to be CO2-free.

The government’s coalition agreement at the end of 2021 stated that the country would aim to build two nuclear reactors after 2030 and extend the lifespan of the only active reactor, the 485MW Borssele plant. Nuclear output from Borssele has averaged just over 414MW in 2022, around the same as in 2021,when it averaged 412MW.

Onshore and offshore wind output has risen by an average of 177.29MW and 282.72MW, respectively, on the year in 2022. The government last week announced tenders for six new offshore wind farms totalling 10.7GW to be held in 2025-27, with the view to launching them in 2029-31.

Source: Argus Media