High up on a 40-metre-high platform on an electric pylon in Doel, Greenpeace activists are starting their second day of action. They hung a banner saying: “How big is yours?”, a slogan meant to encourage the general public to share pictures of cracks they find everywhere around them (in a wall, a piece of clothing, a sheet of paper, etc.). In reality the Greenpeace campaign is referring to the 13,000 micro-cracks found in the nuclear reactor at Doel 3 power station. Activists plan to spend another night on site before pulling out on Thursday. “Police forces and Elia have taken note of our protest,” points out Juliette Boulet, Greenpeace project manager. “They are not happy, but as long as we do not climb any higher, there will be no power cut or any other action taken.”
On Tuesday, the environmental organisation climbed a 170-metre-high electric pylon bringing power from the Doel 3 station to the port of Antwerp. 4 activists spent the night in a tent 40 metres above the river Scheld. They aim to stay there until Thursday in order to raise awareness of the federal government’s energy policy. Parliament hearings on the life extension of nuclear reactors Doel 1 and Doel 2 will take place on Tuesday and on Wednesday. Greenpeace is against both the restart of Doel 3 and the life extension of Doel 1 and 2. “Unfortunately, Marie-Christine Marghem (federal minister for energy) is currently abroad, deplores Juliette Boulet. “Our hope is that she will still be open to our demands.”
The “How big is yours?” campaign (“Hoe groot is uw scheur” in Flemish), is also taking place on social media. Greenpeace is encouraging the general public to take pictures of every day cracks, to measure them, and to post the results on the internet. The total size of cracks sent since the protest began is already half of that of cracks found at Doel, according to Greenpeace.