Expatica news

Belgium ‘needs nuclear to beat global warming’

8 April 2004

BRUSSELS – Belgium will not be able to honour a pledge to make significant cuts in its greenhouse gas emissions if it scraps its nuclear power stations, it was reported on Thursday.

Citing a report by a key government advisory body, the ‘Bureau de Plan’, La Libre Belgique said nuclear power plants were a vital part of the country’s strategy to cap emissions of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2), which are strongly believed to contribute to global warming.

Nuclear power stations produce no significant amounts of CO2, so are considered good news as far as greenhouse gas emissions are concerned, said the study.

But Belgium is planning to phase out its nuclear power stations by 2015 and they are likely to be replaced by installations that run on coal or other fossil fuels that do produce CO2 when burned.

If the government pushes ahead with this policy, CO2 production will go up, said the report.

This in turn will mean the country will not be able to reduce its emissions of the greenhouse gas to 7.5 percent below 1990 levels, as it promised at the 1997 climate change conference in Kyoto, Japan.

Critics of nuclear energy production argue that no truly safe long-term strategies have yet been developed for disposing of nuclear waste.

They also point out that an accident at a nuclear power station can have catastrophic results for the environment, as the 1986 disaster at the Chernobyl plant in Ukraine showed only too well.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Belgian news