BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The Belgian government has reached an agreement confirming the closure of its existing nuclear power plants in 2025, while maintaining investments in nuclear technology, state broadcasters RTBF and VRT said on Thursday.

The coalition of seven parties has been debating the subject for weeks, the Greens categorically affirming that a 2003 law providing for an exit from nuclear power is respected, while the French-speaking liberals are in favor of keeping the two new reactors open.

The two Belgian nuclear power plants, with seven reactors in total, are operated by the French electrician Engie.

After talks overnight, a select group of ministers agreed to a compromise that the last existing nuclear power plant will shut down in 2025, broadcasters said.

However, Belgium will invest 100 million euros ($ 113.4 million) in research into the nuclear energy of the future, with an emphasis on smaller modular reactors.

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The government is due to hold a press conference at 11 a.m. (1000 GMT).

Belgium has yet to determine how to close the energy deficit, gas-fired power stations being an option. A decision on this can only be taken in March.

(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop)

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