Tihange 2 nuclear reactor does not need to be shut down, court rules

Tihange 2 nuclear reactor does not need to be shut down, court rules
Credit: Belga

Calls to annul the decision to restart the Tihange 2 nuclear reaction were overturned by the Brussels Court of First Instance on Thursday.

Several cities, municipalities and federal states in Germany, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, as well as various action groups had asked the court to annul the decision of the Federal Nuclear Control Agency (FANC) to restart the reactor, which is located in Huy (in the province of Liège).

During an inspection in 2012, cracks had been discovered in the walls of the Tihange 2 nuclear reactor, which was then shut down and restarted in 2015.

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According to the plaintiffs, these cracks could have been discovered during the construction of the reactor walls between 1975 and 1983, since the technology already existed at that time, and the material used to build the reactor walls should never have been used.

Moreover, according to the plaintiffs, it is still not known how these cracks appeared, whether they were there from the beginning or whether they were caused by the operation of the nuclear reactor.

“The court finds our claim admissible but unfounded,” said Leo Tubbax, spokesman for the nuclear association Stop Nuclear Energy. “The court is in fact following the FANC on the merits of the case. Like the FANC and the federal government, the court does not doubt for a second the safety of this reactor.”

“On the positive side, thanks to pressure from the opposition to nuclear power, Tihange 2 and Doel 3 are no longer on the list of ‘reactors to be extended’,” continued the spokesman. “They will both be shut down after 40 years of operation in 2022 or 2023. There is therefore no need to lodge an appeal, as it would probably be argued at the time of closure.”

The Brussels Times

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