Harms calls for the shut down of the risk reactor Tihange 1

A new study on the risks of the continued operation of the Belgian nuclear reactor Tihange 1 was presented to the European Parliament on Thursday (Nov 8th).

The author of the study, reactor safety expert Prof. Dr. Mertins, came to the conclusion that the continued operation of Tihange 1 due to outdated reactor design, inadequate safety management and the accumulation of frequent unplanned events represents a potential danger for the Tihange site and its surroundings. 

It is also assessed very critically that the results of international tests and current safety standards are not adequately taken into account.  

Rebecca Harms, nuclear energy spokeswoman of the Greens/EFA group, has therefore now called for the decommissioning of the risk reactor.

The German MEP told this site: "The Belgian authorities must take the fact that currently almost all Belgian reactors are not connected to the grid as an opportunity to at least finally shut down the oldest reactor Tihange 1 43 years after it started its operation. 

Rebecca Harms Mep Press Conference 1

"The reactor design is hopelessly outdated and no longer meets today's international safety requirements. It seems impossible to retrofit the old reactor to bring it up to the state of the art in science and technology."

Harms, speaking at a news conference, said, "The frequent problems in recent years is an indication of the deficiencies and risks arising from the ageing of the plant. The Belgian authorities' handling of the problems of the Belgian reactor fleet, which is characterised by covering up and downplaying the risks, further increases the loss of confidence. 

"The definitive closure of the oldest Belgian reactor could be a much needed sign that the well-known problems are taken seriously."

She added, "The authorities in neighbouring countries must also take action. The 43-year-old nuclear reactor Tihange 1 is threatening not only the safety of Belgian citizens but also of the citizens in neighbouring countries".

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Martin Banks

Martin Banks

Martin Banks is a highly qualified journalist with many years experience of working within the EU institutions. He is an occasional, and highly valued, contributor to EU today, writing on a wide variety of issues.

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