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European campaign against reactor lifetime extensions

Nuclear Monitor Issue: 
Gerard Brinkman ‒ WISE Amsterdam

In the last few years, nuclear energy is more and more often framed as possible solution to climate change. It is receiving positive coverage in the Netherlands as part of a narrative as a potential safe and clean alternative to fossil fuels. This renewed attention for nuclear energy has led some people to think that building new nuclear power plants is the answer to all climate change. A closer look will most often lead to other conclusions, but it is a fact that nuclear energy seems to be back on the agenda.

In the upcoming months we will start a discussion on climate change and nuclear energy. The main goal is to meet with a new and younger audience and talk with them about the issues.  Instead of reacting to articles in the media, which frame nuclear energy as positive, we will proactively tell our side. Renewed attention for the arguments is necessary to shift the debate to a more green and sustainable direction.  In March and April we will have meet-ups in a number of cities.

We will use Sunday April 26th ‒ the 34th anniversary of the Chernobyl accident – to protest against the lifetime extension of nuclear power plants. The peak of building nuclear power plants was in the seventies and eighties, which means that quite a number of them are now facing their 40th anniversary. In Europe about one-third of the operational nuclear reactors are older than their technical design lifetime. While most of the first generation of reactors have been closed down, the second generation of reactors are largely still operational. And only a few of those reactors are likely to be closed down in the near future.

In the Netherlands, the Borssele nuclear plant almost silently got permission to continue operating until 2033, which would make it a 60-year-old plant. On April 26th, there will be a protest-meeting against this lifetime extension at the site of Borssele.

It is the aim of WISE to broaden the campaign to a European level. It would be a strong signal to politics and the public if there are demonstrations at various nuclear sites on April 26th. Already we asked several groups in Europe to join.

Interested in participating? Please contact WISE Amsterdam,