The bill orders the shutdown of the country’s seven reactors after 40 years of operation, and bans the construction of new ones. The first reactor shutdowns under this policy will take place in 2015. The law includes a provision to keep reactors operational “in case of an emergency”.

Belgium currently relies on nuclear power for 60 per cent of its electricity production. The government will invest in solar, wind and other renewable resources, as well as building more gas plants.