Shut Down Aging and Dangerous Nuclear Plants

power_plant_by_erik_bij_de_vaate

Target: Willy de Roovere, head of Belgium’s official nuclear safety agency, AFCN

Goal: Shut down aging power plants in Belgium after continuous safety concerns.

Belgium recently rejected a request from its neighboring country, Germany, to shut down two 40-year-old nuclear plants near the shared border. The aging Tihange 2 and Doel 3 reactors have been causing safety concerns for a long time due to continual problems such as metal degradation, which causes dangerous cracks and leaks. The Doel 3 reactor was briefly shut down in 2012 for an inspection which revealed a huge amount of hydrogen damage on the reactor vessel’s steel rings. The nuclear plants were originally scheduled to be shut down in 2015, but the Belgium government decided to extend their operation until 2025.

In light of these serious safety risks, Germany’s request to shut down the nuclear plants “until the resolution of outstanding security issues” is both reasonable and practical. The Tihange reactor is located just 40 miles away from the German border, so any safety disasters could easily have an impact on German citizens. However, in response to the request for precautionary measures, Belgium’s nuclear safety agency (AFCN) refused under the claim that the plants “respond to the strictest possible safety requirements.” The evidence shows otherwise, and at the very least the Belgium government should agree to a temporary shutdown until more thorough safety investigations are conducted.

Germany is planning to phase out nuclear power by 2022, and Belgium should take its neighbor as an example and develop a similar plan. Sign the petition below to urge the Belgium government to reconsider Germany’s request and shut down these old, unstable nuclear plants before they cause any further safety and stability risks.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Roovere,

The AFCN recently rejected a request from Germany that the aging nuclear plants located near the shared border be shut down “until the resolution of outstanding security issues.” This request prioritizes the safety of both Germany’s and Belgium’s citizens, and must be reconsidered.

The Tihange 2 and Doel 3 reactors are 40 years old, and this advanced age has resulted in continuous stability issues such as metal degradation, which causes dangerous cracks and leaks. During a 2012 inspection, a huge amount of hydrogen damage was discovered on the Doel 3 reactor vessel’s steel rings, causing a temporary shutdown. These safety risks remain unresolved, and now Belgium is planning to extend the operation of these nuclear plants to 2025 despite the fact that they were originally scheduled for closure in 2015.

I am urging you to reconsider Germany’s request for precautionary measures until these security risks are more thoroughly investigated and resolved. Please take action to shut down these aging nuclear plants to avoid further safety hazards.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Erik bij de Vaate

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