German states file challenge against Belgian nuclear plants

March 8, 2016
The cooling towers of Belgium's Doel nuclear plant belch thick white steam on January 12, 2016
The cooling towers of Belgium's Doel nuclear plant belch thick white steam on January 12, 2016

Two western German states said Tuesday they planned to file a complaint at the EU and UN against Belgium over its ageing nuclear reactors which had their lifespan recently extended to 2025.

The Doel 1, 2 and Tihange 1 have been in service since 1974-1975, and were scheduled to be shut down in 2015.

But the Belgian government in December decided to extend the lives of the 40-year-old reactors to 2025, under a deal to preserve jobs and invest in the transition to cleaner energy.

The states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate claimed however that before such a decision could be made, an had to be carried out, under a little known international convention called Espoo.

"The impact of an accident in Tihange and Doel would not be stop at the border of Rhineland-Palatinate," said the state's energy minister Eveline Lemke, stressing that decisions to extend ' lifetime could not be imposed without consultations with neighbouring countries.

The reactor at Tihange is located just 60 kilometres (37 miles) from the German border while Doel is about 130 kilometres away.

Belgium's creaking nuclear plants have been causing safety concerns with its neighbours for some time now after a series of problems ranging from leaks to cracks and an unsolved sabotage incident.

Doel 1, the country's oldest reactor, was originally shuttered in February 2015 under a law calling for the country's gradual phaseout of nuclear power, but the government then restarted it under the extension deal.

But the plant, about 15 kilometres as the crow flies from the major port city of Antwerp, had to be closed three days later due to a generator problem. It has now restarted a second time.

Meanwhile Belgian operator Electrabel said in December it had restarted a reactor at its Tihange plant, just days after being forced to shut it down following a fire in the electricity supply system.

Explore further: Belgium restarts ageing Tihange 1 nuclear reactor

Related Stories

Belgium restarts ageing Tihange 1 nuclear reactor

December 27, 2015

Belgian power utility Electrabel said Saturday it had restarted a nuclear reactor at its ageing Tihange plant, just days after being forced to shut it down following a fire in the electricity supply system.

Belgian nuclear reactor restarts after shutdown

January 4, 2016

Belgium on Monday restarted a reactor that was shut down at the weekend just three days after returning to service amid concern in neighbouring countries over its nuclear safety.

Recommended for you

Samsung to disable Note 7 phones in recall effort

December 9, 2016

Samsung announced Friday it would disable its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones in the US market to force remaining owners to stop using the devices, which were recalled for safety reasons.

Swiss unveil stratospheric solar plane

December 7, 2016

Just months after two Swiss pilots completed a historic round-the-world trip in a Sun-powered plane, another Swiss adventurer on Wednesday unveiled a solar plane aimed at reaching the stratosphere.

Solar panels repay their energy 'debt': study

December 6, 2016

The climate-friendly electricity generated by solar panels in the past 40 years has all but cancelled out the polluting energy used to produce them, a study said Tuesday.

4 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

WillieWard
3.7 / 5 (3) Mar 08, 2016
German states should also file a complaint against German coal plants which release radioactive ashes, much more radioactivity per unit of energy generated than nuclear.
http://www.scient...r-waste/
http://www.techin...-2015-11
http://judithcurr...misstep/
http://carboncoun...burning/
http://anglesonen...om/?p=63
gkam
1 / 5 (6) Mar 09, 2016
When these go wrong, it is too late to say "Sorry".

I propose we take legal action against this dangerous technology before it kills all of us.

http://ecowatch.c...kushima/
WillieWard
3 / 5 (3) Mar 09, 2016
I propose we take legal action against fear-mongers, sensationalist mass media, academic alarmists, charlatan scientists and pseudo-environmentalists that have induced millions of deaths (abortions, anxieties, stresses, heart-attacks, suicides) by spreading scaring tales among uninformed population in order to promote their ecologically hypocritical means of energy production.
TheGhostofOtto1923
4.2 / 5 (5) Mar 10, 2016
I propose we take legal action against this dangerous technology before it kills all of us
Huh that's funny - I've been saying the same thing about psychopaths for a long time.

"The high incidence of [psycho]pathy in human society has a profound effect on the rest of us who must live on this planet, too, even those of us who have not been clinically traumatized. The individuals who constitute this 4 percent drain our relationships, our bank accounts, our accomplishments, our self-esteem, our very peace on earth."

"We are not commonly aware of, nor do we usually identify, the larger number of nonviolent [psycho]paths among us, people who often are not blatant lawbreakers, and against whom our formal legal system provides little defense.

"Most of us would not imagine any correspondence between conceiving an ethnic genocide and, say, guiltlessly lying to one's boss about a coworker. But the psychological correspondence is not only there; it is chilling."

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.