Germany’s Ministry of Environment is seeking to ban the export of nuclear fuel bars to older reactors close to its border, according to an internal work project viewed by the German news agency DPA.
The move would concern Doel and Tihange in Belgium.
The amendment to the German law on nuclear energy would exclude plants located within 150 km of the German border that have been operating for over 30 years, such as Tihange, Doel and the Cattenom plant in France. The year 1989 was chosen as cutoff date because the design used by nuclear plants from that era is considered obsolete today.
The nuclear fuel bars are manufactured at a plant run by the Advanced Nuclear Fuels company in Lingen, a town in Lower Saxony, close to the Dutch border.
Germany is scheduled to close its nuclear plants by the end of 2022, but this decision does not affect the Lingen factory or the uranium enrichment plant in Gronau, North Rhine-Westphalia, which is also close to the Dutch border
Many German states have called for an end to the exports, particularly Baden-Wurttemburg, North Rhine-Westphalia, Saarland and Rhineland-Palatinate, all of which share borders with either Belgium or France.
Early this year, the regions presented a joint motion to this effect in the Bundesrat, the Upper House of the German Parliament.