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30 major European cities and districts call for shutdown of aging Belgian nuclear reactors

nukes-sad-Shut old nuclear reactors, says unprecedented alliance of EU cities
Communities and campaigners in Germany, the Netherlands and Luxembourg lobby for closure of two ageing 40-year old Belgian nuclear reactors close to borders,
Guardian,  17 Mar 16, An unprecedented alliance of 30 major cities and districts from three countries has joined forces to try to shut down two ageing Belgian nuclear reactors close to their borders.

Cologne and Dusseldorf in Germany, Luxembourg City and Maastricht in theNetherlands are among the cities co-funding a lawsuit to close one reactor – Tihange 2 – and calling on the European commission to prepare a separate case at the European court of justice.

“More than 30 districts have adopted resolutions to support us, and want to join the lawsuit,” said Helmut Echtenberg, the mayor of Germany’s Greater Aachen region, who is leading the campaign.

Only one plaintiff may appear in court, “but we will ensure that Tihange 2 is no longer connected to the grid in the future,“ Echtenberg said. “This is my honest conviction.”…….

The 40-year old reactors have been plagued by a litany of problems such as reactor pressure vessel micro-cracks, fire and one mysterious case of sabotage.

These have sparked what Echtenberg calls “existential fear” in Aachen, which lies 60km upwind of the plant. Anxiety is rife that house prices and business activity could soon suffer.

Anti-nuclear posters festoon the shops in Aachen town centre, stickers adorn car windows and stories about Tihange are regularly splashed across local papers.

Hartmut Falter, the owner of Aachen’s oldest bookstore, Die Mayersche, has put up a 10m x 3m anti-nuclear poster in his storefront. “The risk of a nuclear accident is not very high but if it happened, the damage would be extreme,” he told the Guardian. “Unfortunately, nuclear dangers do not stop at the frontier.”…….

Last week, it was announced that France’s oldest reactor in Fessenheim, on the German border, would close after complaints by Germany and Switzerland.

Lawyers are already working on a second nuclear lawsuit, which may be filed in Belgium by the Dutch city of Maastricht. The regional governments of North Rhine Westphalia and Rhineland Palatinate are taking separate cases against the reactors to the UN and European commission……..

March 18, 2016 - Posted by | EUROPE, opposition to nuclear

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