Support for nuclear power grows

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A statement by the Socialists that nuclear power is not a taboo subject within the party could signal a parliamentary majority in favour of building new nuclear power plants in the Netherlands, reports Wednesday’s Telegraaf.

‘Everything is open to discussion. Nuclear power is not taboo for the SP,’ Socialist party (SP) leader Agnes Kant is quoted by the paper as saying.

The comment follows a call yesterday by the ruling Christian Democrat (CDA) parliamentary leader Pieter van Geel for power firms to go ahead and submit planning applications for new nuclear power plants.

Meanwhile Wednesday’s Financieele Dagblad reports that energy concern Delta is considering making such an application. ‘But we are still unsure. It’s not clear whether the political will [to honour an application] is broad enough,’ company spokeswoman Mirjam van Zuilen told the paper.

Delta, which together with Essent owns the country’s only existing nuclear power plant in Zeeland, has said in the past it is interested in building a second nuclear power facility.

‘The plans are all ready and we still hope to be able to open this second plant in 2016,’ Van Zuilen told the FD.

No concrete plans
The country’s two biggest Dutch energy concerns, Essent and Nuon, told the paper they are following the current discussion with interest but have no concrete plans for nuclear power at present.

The same goes for foreign electricity producers in the Netherlands, says the Volkskrant. A spokesman for the German firm Eon told the paper that it is keeping its options open but that it is too early to make a licence application. The same goes for German producer RWE.

The CDA’s two coalitions partners are against nuclear energy and the government has pledged that no decision on the issue will be made during the current administration.

The existing nuclear plant at Borssele is due to be closed down in 2033 and produces 485MW of electricity, a fraction of total Dutch consumption.

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