Belgian Nuclear Society

Dear BNS Member,
Dear Visitor,

“The UK’s Need for New Nuclear and the Challenge of Financing Projects” is the topic of the upcoming BNS Evening Lecture, taking place on Thursday May 28 in Brussels. The oldest nuclear power plants of Europe are located today in the UK, and they are to be shut down in the coming years for technical reasons. Anticipating this age-driven nuclear phase-out, the British government has taken steps to promote the construction of new nuclear units, to be combined with renewables: this is the nuclear New Build, organized along the European rules for the energy market.

The British approach is interesting not only in the UK, but everywhere in Europe. The transition to low carbon energies is a European goal, and the German Energiewende demonstrates that there is a limit to the capacity of renewable energies: replacing for the base electricity generation coal-fired plants by nuclear plants makes sense on economic, environmental and employment grounds even if it is necessary to overcome an ideological as well as political hurdle.

The main issue for nuclear energy remains however its capital intensive character: a new nuclear plant represents an investment of the order of 5 billion euros per TWe with a return period of about 40 years: building such a plant represents a true financial challenge.

Even if the current Belgian law still phases out nuclear energy, the Belgian Nuclear Society is convinced that nuclear energy is a key element in the transition towards low carbon energies.

The BNS has therefore invited Mr. Robert Armour, Senior Counsel at Gowlings LLP, to present the British financial approach for the build of new nuclear plants.

Roger Schène, Chairman of the Belgian Nuclear Society

The Fukushima accident and its multiple consequences created a significant and renewed interest among the population to better understand nuclear sciences and applications, their associated risks and their potential future developments. Our mission at the BNS is to try to give you access to a set of information as complete and as diversified as possible about various aspects of peaceful applications of Nuclear Energy.

We are willing to provide detailed relevant scientific information for nuclear specialists from Belgium industries, universities and research centers but also to the public including schools, teachers, researchers which have their own question marks about nuclear applications and nuclear sciences in general. As you know, nuclear sciences are very broad and include already many applications as well as many ongoing developments full of hope for many medical domains. Nuclear sciences include obviously but are not limited to design, construction and operation of nuclear plants.

The Belgian Nuclear Society has an important role to play today: from expressing thoughts to writing papers and organizing lectures and conferences. Our monthly Evening Lectures contribute to create a dialogue between experts and the public. This allows for having a direct contact with some of our best nuclear Belgian experts and raising the questions you might have. You will find more information on the upcoming Evening Lectures in the Activities section of our website.

Thank you for your visit and do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions related to nuclear sciences.