Belgium may extend the lifetimes of its three oldest nuclear power stations to guard against energy shortages, it has been revealed.
According to a report in Belgian newspaper De Standaard, the life of the three plants could be extended by ten years to 2025.
The plants, two in Doel near the northern city of Antwerp and one in Tihange in southeastern Belgium, are due to close in 2015.
The country's Energy Minister Paul Magnette is due to submit a report to the government on Friday that concludes Belgium will face energy supply problems if the plants close on schedule, according to the newspaper.
Keeping the plants open would give their operator Electrabel, the Belgian arm of France's GDF Suez, a sizeable profit, according to Reuters.
In return, the government would expect to charge GDF Suez about €800m ($1.17bn), De Standaard said.