Petten reactor is safe, says minister, but inspectors will talk to staff

Photo: Berry Stokvis/HH
Photo: Berry Stokvis/HH

Environment ministry inspectors are to hold meetings with people working at the Putten nuclear reactor after whistleblowers raised fears that spending cuts were compromising safety.

Minister Melanie Shultz said in a briefing to parliament that the talks will centre on the possible impact of the Petten plant’s financial problems on safety.

‘The ANVS has concluded that it has no doubts about nuclear security,’ she said.  ‘However, we need to ensure that the NRG continues to guarantee its performance on safety issues and to make improvements.’

The Petten plant has two research reactors and produces radioactive isotopes used in cancer treatment.

The plant is managed by a company named NRG which almost went bust two years ago and was given a €80m bridging loan by the Dutch government.

The financial pressure of this loan has led to the current climate in which safety is being compromised, broadcaster NOS said last week. It highlighted a quote from a report drawn up by nuclear experts on behalf of NRG which said ‘safety is not our overarching priority.’

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