New nuclear power plant back in favour

28th September 2006, Comments 0 comments

28 September 2006, AMSTERDAM — Environment State Secretary Pieter van Geel wants to clear a path for the construction of nuclear power plants.

28 September 2006

AMSTERDAM — Environment State Secretary Pieter van Geel wants to clear a path for the construction of nuclear power plants.

He was to officially inform MPs by letter on Thursday about his plans to draw up a legislative proposal outlining the conditions under which a company will be allowed to build a nuclear power station.

Those conditions will state that a power plant must be built from 4m-thick concrete to protect it against terrorist attacks with planes and withstand explosions such as what occurred at Chernobyl, a ministry spokeswoman said.

The leader of green-left GroenLinks, Femke Halsema, is now demanding answers from Christian Democrat CDA Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende.

She said plans for a second nuclear power plant are in breach of promises given by the prime minister who said his minority Cabinet would act with restraint in presenting any new plans.

Socially and politically, the building of a new nuclear power station is and remains a very controversial issue. The Netherlands only other plant, Borssele, is scheduled to close in 2013.

Labour PvdA spokesman Diederik Samsom also said a cabinet that is governing with restraint does not build new nuclear power plants. The Socialist SP backed the stance of the PvdA.

Both GroenLinks and the PvdA are opposed to the construction of new nuclear power plants. The CDA has not rejected nuclear energy, while the VVD is an outspoken supporter.

CDA MP Liesbeth Spies denied speculation the government was planning to build new nuclear power plants.

She said Van Geel's proposal was part of new nuclear energy legislation that had already been lodged in parliament. She said the legislative proposal had an advantage over current laws because it allowed the government to amend regulations.

Spies said the CDA wish of staging parliamentary discussions around the legislation prior to the 22 November election appears unlikely to pan out due to a full agenda.

Environmental lobby group Greenpeace reacted angrily to Van Geel's actions. A spokeswoman stressed that if politicians campaigned for green energy, a nuclear power plant would not be compulsory.

The director of the Nature and Environment Foundation (Stichting Natuur en Milieu), Mirjam de Rijk, was also critical of the state secretary's actions.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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