A decision on whether a new nuclear power plant should be built in the Netherlands is unlikely to be made until a new cabinet is installed following the election on 22 November.
Today’s Financieele Dagblad reports that the three biggest political parties do not think the current government will have time to discuss this week’s memo by the environment minister which sets down the conditions under which new nuclear power plants would be allowed.
The Liberal VVD is the most positive, saying conditions must guarantee safety but also make investment attractive. The Christian Democrats believe nuclear power could be an option but have their reservations. Labour however would only support nuclear power if there is a guarantee that the period of time radioactive waste remains dangerous is reduced to 300 years – technically still very much in the experimental stage. It also wants project initiators to provide a bank guarantee to cover the cost of dismantling the plant.
The conditions under which new nuclear power plants will be permitted determine the chance any such project would have of actually getting off the ground. According to yesterday’s NRC Handelsblad, new nuclear power plants could be operational in 2016. The most obvious location for a second Dutch nuclear plant would be next to the existing facility at Borssele in Zeeland. But the minister also mentions Delfzijl on the north coast, IJmuiden and Rotterdam as alternative sites.
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