Several socialist party branches in the north of the province of Antwerp took action on Monday against the transportation of highly radioactive waste from the Netherlands across this densely populated region. The waste from the Borssele power station in Zeeland is transported to the La Hague retreatment plant in Normandy, passing via Essen, Kalmthout, Kapellen, Ekeren and Antwerp before heading for Ghent and Courtrai. Several transportations of this kind have already taken place across Flanders, Flemish socialists protested, whereas in the Netherlands they are banned from densely populated areas.
“AFCN (federal nuclear monitoring agency) agents explained last summer that high radiation around the Shelter Object was dangerous to pregnant women and children,” said provincial councilwoman Inga Verhaert. “If a train like this has to stop at a platform, people must be evacuated immediately.”
The socialist party is demanding that this route be abandoned. “These transports are useless and hazardous. Local administrations are being denied and can only make a note of scheduled transports shortly before they take place,” Essen’s deputy mayor for the environment Helmut Jaspers condemned. The socialists have launched an online petition to cover the protest.