MAASTRICHT. The city of Maastricht, several other municipalities in South Limburg and the German city of Aachen want to take legal steps against the antiquated Tihange nuclear power station in Belgium, just 36 kilometres from the Dutch border.
Last week, a majority of political parties in Maastricht supported the motion raised by GroenLinks, the party that has worried about the power station for years and even organized a demonstration in January 2013.
There are three nuclear reactors in Tihange, the oldest dating from 1975. They were designed for an operational lifetime of 30 years, but in 2003 a Belgian law raised this to 40 years. Then, in 2012, the Belgian government decided that Tihange 1 could be operated until 2025.
Aachen wants Tihange to be closed as soon as possible; two German law firms are investigating the legal options to this end.
The Province of Limburg is not happy with the legal steps taken by the municipalities, fearing they will derail the negotiations with Belgium. Yesterday, the Dutch Environment and Infrastructure Minister visited Doel, another problematic nuclear power station in Belgium near the Dutch border (Zeeland and Brabant), for a joint inspection.