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Belgium’s decision to extend the life of its nuclear power stations was met with mixed reactions by political as well as business leaders. During this, German Environment Minister Steffi Lemke lamented the move on Saturday.

In particular, Steffi voiced concern for the continued operation of Belgium’s Tihange 3 reactor and stressed the population’s concerns around Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle), a German town about 80 km from Tihange, need to be taken into consideration.

The decision comes in light of the need to secure a stable and economical energy supply that does put the country at the mercy of increasingly volatile energy markets. However, the German minister rejected the reasons given for the Belgian decision.

She said, “Especially during a time of crisis like this, I don’t think an extension of the service life is justifiable for security reasons. It can even make us more vulnerable.”

She further added, “We are in a situation in which we have to make our energy supply crisis-proof very quickly. We are doing this by accelerating the expansion of renewable energies.”

Notably, Belgium is also funding heavily in renewables – specifically wind farms. However, despite projects that will soon be realised, the country’s energy output from renewables would be insufficient to cover the shortfall from nuclear. Instead, new gas power stations were in the pipeline, a far more polluting alternative to nuclear.


- A word from our sposor -

German Environment minister laments Belgium’s decision to extend life of nuclear power station