The Tihange 1 nuclear power plant is "obsolete and dangerous" (Huy)

The Tihange 1 nuclear power plant is "obsolete" and its operation is "very dangerous," said German expert on nuclear engineering Manfred Mertins on Thursday at a press conference in the European Parliament.

While the Federal Nuclear Regulatory Agency (FANC) gave the green light last week for the upcoming restart of Tihange 1, Professor Mertins highlighted the many vulnerabilities that this power plant would pose.

The report, drawn up at the request of the European Greens, highlights in particular that the international "safety and reliability" requirements are not met.

"Tihange 1 is one of the oldest power plants in the world, built on the basis of security principles in the early 1970s," said Mertins. "The accidents that have occurred since then on the islands of Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima have shown that there is a significant increase in requirements in this area," he continued, regretting the numerous shortcomings he had at that time. Belgian power stations.

According to him, the surge in unexpected events in Tihange 1 demonstrates the aging of the device, which he describes as "totally irregular".

In addition to the site-related hazards, the expert adds that Tihange 1 has only "limited" basic protection against the effects of external hazards such as floods, earthquakes or even a possible impact. air.

The expert, who only dealt with technical aspects, could not provide any data on the cost of bringing the device back into line. According to him, however, it is "almost impossible to correct all the problems observed in the age of Tihange 1".

Mr Mertins' report will be transferred to FANC and the competent authorities in Belgium, but also to the neighboring countries, Greek Rebecca Harms said. "At the end of my term, I want to raise the public about the risks posed by old reactors in Belgium," she said.

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