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Belgium's Doel 4 nuclear reactor due for early return Dec 27

London — Belgium's 1 GW Doel 4 nuckear reactor is set to return to service Thursday afternoon, four days ahead of schedule, operator Electrabel said in a market transparency note.

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1 GW reactor returns four days early

Belgian availability remains low

Tihange 3 return to offset Doel 1, 2 outages

The unit, which had resumed production December 13 after an extended outage for concrete degradation repairs, underwent another unscheduled outage December 21 for operational maintenance.

The maintenance was due to run to December 31, but is now due to conclude at 1700 CET Thursday.

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Nuclear availability in Belgium remains patchy. On Monday, Electrabel said the 1 GW Tihange 3 unit would return to service January 7, seven weeks ahead of schedule.

Its return has eased supply concerns after delays to Doel 1 and Doel 2 (2 x 433 MW) were announced December 19. Doel 2's return was pushed back four weeks to January 28, while that of Doel 1 was pushed back by six weeks to March 15.

Once Tihange 3 is back, and assuming Doel 4's successful ramp up Thursday, Belgian nuclear availability will rise to 4 GW January 7. Belgium has seven reactors giving a total 5.943 GW.

--Henry Edwardes-Evans,

--Edited by Shashwat Pradhan,