Saturday 22 January 2022

Dutch nuclear power supervision breaks international guidelines

The Netherlands is breaking international guidelines on nuclear power because the service which is supposed to monitor safety is part of the same ministry which licences nuclear power stations, Trouw reports on Thursday.


This means that nuclear safety personnel work for economic affairs minister Maxime Verhagen who is an outspoken supporter of nuclear power, the paper points out.
The situation arose last year when the new government abolished the environment ministry and divided up its jobs. This means both the licencing of nuclear power stations and monitoring fall under Verhagen.
Unwise
‘It is extremely unwise to have both the stimulation and control of nuclear power stations within the same ministry,’ Marius Enthoven, a former environment ministry nuclear power expert told the paper.
‘This could have disastrous consequences for public safety,’ said energy professor Wim Turkenburg.
The international atomic energy body IAEA recommends nuclear safety monitoring bodies be completely independent.
Verhagen has said he hopes to licence a new nuclear power station before the end of this cabinet period.
A spokesman told the paper that it could not comment on the Dutch situation and that its recommendations are non-binding on governments.

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