The Netherlands is following events surrounding Japan’s nuclear plants very closely and will take the Japanese experience into account when deciding on the Dutch nuclear power programme, economic affairs minister Maxime Verhagen said on Monday.
In February, Verhagen said the safety standards for a new power plant will have to be so tough that the chance of a reactor melt down will have to be less than once in a million years.
The Netherlands has one nuclear power plant in Borssele, but at least two competing groups are hoping to win permission to build a second one.
Earthquakes in Holland
The Borssele plant was built to withstand an earthquake which reaches 5.2 on the Richter scale. This is the size of the strongest earthquake ever felt in the area with a safety margin built in, the economic affairs ministry said in a statement.
It is also built to withstand flooding of up to 7.3 metres above normal levels.
Verhagen hopes work can start on a second nuclear power station by 2015.
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