Paris, 15 June 2023
Subject: Lifetime extension of Nuclear Power Plants Doel-4 and Tihange-3 in Belgium.
Nuclear Transparency Watch as citizen network on nuclear safety and transparency with organisation, elected and qualified members in the European region (including Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg) based in France has participated in the cross-border consultation regarding the Doel-4 and Tihange-3 nuclear power plants potentiel lifetime extension.
Participating to such consultation is not new for NTW, which as participated in the scope of the Environmental Impact Assessment to other consultation on Lifetime extension such as for Doel-1 & Doel-2 in Belgium as well but also abroad such as in Finland with Loviisa 1 & 2 or in Slovenia with Krsko.
A bit of context:
In the frame of the transboundary consultation on the prolongation of the Life Time extension of the Nuclear Power Plants Doel-4 and Tihange-3 in Belgium organized by the Ministry of Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development, Nuclear Transparency Watch is introducing some concerns based on the results of a technical analysis by two independent experts from Greenpeace published by the Belgian authorities as part of the public consultation process.
The safety concept for Doel- and Tihange-3 is out of date with current safety standards and regulations showing weaknesses in the event of long-term operation. Extending the operating life of the reactors, shall reduce the safety requirements, which automatically leads to an increase in the risk of incidents.
Roger Spautz from Greenpeace and NTW says: “The public and politicians have the right to know where Doel-4 and Tihange-3 do not meet current safety standards. Similarly, information on upgrades that are technically feasible but have been put on hold for economic reasons must be made public in a clear and transparent manner”.
The accidents calculated in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) documents (design accidents and accidents beyond design) may lead to intervention measures such as containment or the distribution of potassium iodide tablets. However, the accidents calculated are by no means the most serious incidents possible. The flexRISK project, for example, studied the possibility of a major disaster involving the two reactors: the results of the study show that large parts of Europe could be contaminated. Such an accident could even lead to the evacuation of areas in Belgium and neighbouring countries.
Therefore, the cross-border effects of a major disaster should be included in the environmental impact assessment procedure, regardless of the calculated probability of occurrence, as long as this is physically possible, in order to clarify the risk. The results of the flexRisk project determined the massive impact of such an accident for Belgium and Europe.
If you need more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also read the presentation made by Almut Bonhage (BBM) to NTW:
 The fundamental safety objective for new nuclear power plants is the exclusion of core meltdown accidents with early and high releases. At present, Doel-4 and Tihange-3 do not meet this requirement, which must be met by new nuclear power plants.