Liberal Senator reignites nuclear energy debate
5 September 2005, BRUSSELS — Liberal VLD Senator Jean-Marie Dedecker has proposed keeping the nation's nuclear power stations open, a stance which is at odds with the federal government accord.
5 September 2005
BRUSSELS — Liberal VLD Senator Jean-Marie Dedecker has proposed keeping the nation's nuclear power stations open, a stance which is at odds with the federal government accord.
The VLD had previously signed the accord and the decision to start closing Belgium's nuclear power plants from 2015, newspaper 'Het Nieuwsblad' reported on Monday.
"That decision and the government accord is pure nonsense, nothing more than a whim of the greens. If we close the nuclear power stations, I will need to make light with a candle in 10 years time. There are no alternatives," Dedecker said.
The decision to abandon nuclear energy production is under pressure because Belgium is at threat of failing to meet its Kyoto Protocol targets and there are still too few renewable energy alternatives for crude oil.
And VLD chairman Bart Somers was quick to defend Dedecker's comments. "We cannot ban our politicians from continuing to wage debate," he said, adding that in the midst of an oil crisis it is good to consider future energy policies.
However, he also made no doubt about the party's official stance: "In 10 years time, the first nuclear power stations will close. We maintain support of the government accord."
The decision to abandon nuclear energy was made in 2003 by the then coalition government. Closures will start in 2015 and must be completed by 2025 and revising that decision is not up for discussion with the Socialist SP.A.
"If the VLD wants to break the government accord, then it should be in opposition," SP.A chairman Johan Vande Lanotte said.
However, Energy Minister Mark Verwilghen has commissioned an extensive study and wants to place the nuclear energy debate back on the agenda in 2006.
The Christian Democrat CD&V, New Flemish Alliance NV-A and Flemish Interest parties have indicated they support Dedecker's legislative proposal to retain the nation's nuclear energy plants.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Belgian news