Flemish Minister explores talks with Netherlands on constructing nuclear power plants

Flemish Minister explores talks with Netherlands on constructing nuclear power plants
Credit: Belga/Dirk Waem

Flemish Environment Minister Zuhal Demir (N-VA) has started talks with her Dutch counterpart to see if the two countries can work together to create two near nuclear plants just across the border with Belgium.

'This construction also offers opportunities for Flanders," said Demir.

The Dutch government announced on Friday it will construct two new nuclear power plants in Borssele, close to the Belgian border. An environmental report on the impact of the power stations will need to be created, in which Flanders would also have input.

Demir believes that the Flemish contribution should go further than this.

"It defies all imagination what we have seen in our country in the past week," she said on Radio 1 on Saturday morning. "It was always said that there would be no problem with supplies."

"In the past week it suddenly appeared on all the front pages that there is no certainty about the supply for the coming winters. The problem is not in the winter of 2025, but beyond. And if we want to continue to meet all needs, you can't help but look at nuclear energy. That is clean and we have the know-how."

Flemish-Dutch partnership

Due to supply issues, Demiar began talks with her Dutch colleague Rob Jetten in order to facilitate Flemish-Dutch cooperation in the construction of the two nuclear power plants.

"Energy is a basic supply and you cannot be too careful with it," said Demir. 'Together with our Dutch colleagues, we want to start a discussion about the long term, in which a Flemish-Dutch cooperation or co-investment in the construction of new nuclear power plants in the Netherlands is one of the options for me."

"We are forced to bet on several horses to strengthen our energy supply for the future and to reduce our fossil energy dependence," Demir added.

"If we can succeed in this way in obtaining a joint low-country energy plan that strengthens the energy supply in Flanders for the future, we should not hesitate."

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