De Wever: Let Flanders decide on nuclear exit

De Wever: Let Flanders decide on nuclear exit
Bart De Wever. Credit: Belga

Antwerp Mayor and N-VA Chairman Bart De Wever said Flanders should decide on whether or not Belgium goes through with its planned nuclear exit.

Regionalise the competence for energy and let Flanders alone make the choice to keep the country’s nuclear power plants open or not, De Wever said in an interview on Radio 1, De Standaard reports.

All Flemish parties, with the exception of Groen, think it’s wiser to keep the two newer nuclear power stations open. De Wever says a majority of the Flemish people want that, too.

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Earlier this week, the major employers' organisations made a similar appeal in an open letter, asking to keep the two youngest nuclear reactors, Doel 4 and Tihange 3, open longer.

French-speaking Belgium shouldn't get a say, De Wever argues

De Wever therefore wants Flanders to be the only region involved in a decision on Doel 4, in particular.

“If French-speaking Belgium blocks this scenario, then it must be decided that the competence for energy supply will be regionalised,” he said, comparing it to the quick decision in 1991 to regionalise the arms export - for which there was at the time a political impasse.

Translation: If the federal government does not want to extend the nuclear power plants and does not want to form a majority with us, then nuclear energy must be regionalised. In 1991, this was also done for the Walloon arms export. Why not now for our Flemish nuclear energy? 

According to De Wever, if Belgium wants an energy policy that’s as shockproof as possible, the country cannot put all its eggs in one basket. The immediate climate benefit of reduced gas consumption that would come with keeping the plants open also makes the proposal reasonable, he argues.

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