German state of Lower Saxony against nuclear power plant in bordering Netherlands
The northern German state of Lower Saxony has been rattled by Dutch plans to assess the construction of up to 10 new nuclear power plants, one of which could be located near the German border. “I will do everything in my power to prevent the Netherlands from seeing a new dawn of nuclear power,” Lower Saxony’s environment minister Olaf Lies (SPD) told Stefan Idel at NWZ online. The Netherlands has only one of formerly two nuclear power stations operating but governing party VVD has suggested that reaching the Paris Agreement climate targets would require the construction of new nuclear plants.
Lies said he was surprised by the Dutch announcement, calling it a “a gigantic step backwards into old times” to invest into new nuclear power plants and “irresponsible” to produce more nuclear waste. The minister said he expected strong resistance in the Northwest of the state. Members of the Green Party in Lower Saxony’s parliament announced they would work together with their Dutch sister party “GroenLinks” to stop this “economic and ecologic lunacy”.
While a study for the Dutch government said that nuclear power had a similar price as renewable installations, critics insist that nuclear power is by now much more expensive. Lies said he would focus on promoting joint renewable energy projects. Germany will phase-out its last nuclear power plants by the end of 2022 and is currently in the decade-long process of finding a permanent repository for the nuclear waste generated in the past 60 years.