The nuclear waste sites in Dessel and Mol have already incurred costs of more than 1 billion euro. The rest of the work will generate an additional cost of about 2 billion euro, a total of 3 billion euro.
The figures were obtained by MP Kristof Calvo (Groen) from the Federal Minister of Energy, Marie-Christine Marghem.
“This is just one example of the costs imposed on us by the nuclear industry,” says Calvo. “The industrial adventure that made us dream in the 50s and 60s about a glorious nuclear future is generating very expensive nuclear waste sites 50 years later.”
According to Calvo, it is the Belgian taxpayer who will foot the bill to a large extent. The electricity producers have spent about 144 million euros to clean one of the sites, while consumers, via their electricity bills, paid 550 million during 2003 – 2013, or 55 million per year.
For the period 2014-2018, their contribution will increase by up to 25% to some 69 million, according to the Flemish Green MP.
The reprocessing site Eurochemic was the result of cooperation between 13 OECD countries. Between 1966 and 1974, it managed to remove usable fissile materials from used nuclear fuel. But after eight years, France and Germany withdrew from the project and the production was stopped.
The site and facilities then returned into the hands of the Belgian state. In 1986, it decided to dismantle the site. The work, led by Belgoprocess, began in 1990.
At about the same time, work also started at the nuclear waste site belonging to the Nuclear Energy Research Centre (CEN). This operation, 27 years later, is still not complete, according to Calvo, despite 180,000 cubic meters of radioactive waste produced and billions of euros spent.