(September 16 2005) In what has been strongly condemned by major Dutch environmental organisations as a "perverted deal", the Dutch government on September 5 agreed, with the owners of the last Dutch nuclear power plant, to keep the reactor open until 2033.
In early spring of this year the State Secretary for the Environment hired two consultants to initiate talks, behind closed doors, with the main stakeholders to identify possibilities for making a dirty deal; if the environmental movement would accept the postponement of closure to 2033 then the 'saved' money (from not compensating the utility) would then be spent on renewable energy projects and investments.
Since the environmental community refused to participate, the consultants played the divide-and-rule game by trying to expose some groups as supporters of a deal and were rather successful with this ploy. In the current three-party government coalition, the smallest party (D66, progressive liberals) has always expressed opposition to nuclear power but have now bowed to strong pressure from the other two coalition partners. Although the State Secretary in early spring claimed that closure in 2013 (agreed upon when this government took office) would cost approximately 1 billion Euros (US$1.2 billion), the basis on which this agreement has now been reached is that the two owners of the plant will invest 250 million Euro (US$307 million) into seeking extra measures to cut CO2-emissions.
The exact wording of the deal remains a secret but it is widely expected that the two owners (Essent and Delta) will invest this money in increasing efficiency efforts in their coal-burning power stations - an action that they would have been forced to do anyway under the Dutch Kyoto targets and policies.
See also WISE/NIRS Nuclear Monitor 628, May 27, 2005
Contact: WISE Amsterdam