The Constitutional Court has annulled the law that extends the service life of the Doel 1 and Doel 2 nuclear power plants until 2025. According to the Court, an environmental impact assessment and participation procedure should have been organized. The government will have until 2023. The two nuclear power stations should have been closed in 2015, but because security of supply was being compromised, it was then decided to extend their service life by ten years. Bond Beter Leefmilieu and Inter-Environnement Wallonie challenged the law governing the granting to the Constitutional Court. They complained that the extension was not preceded by an environmental impact assessment and public participation procedure. The environmental organizations are now right. However, the judgment is not unexpected. To be able to judge the case, the Constitutional Court consulted the European Court of Justice. That ruled last summer that an environmental impact assessment was indeed needed. The EU Court did, however, leave the door open for a solution: the Constitutional Court could temporarily maintain the lifetime extension if the closure poses the ‘real and serious risk’ that the electricity supply will be interrupted and if insufficient electricity can be imported from abroad to catch the closure.
MBS News 5th March 2020 read more »
A ruling by the Constitutional Court could mean the nuclear power stations Doel 1 and Doel 2 have to close down earlier than the government planned. The Court this week struck down a law passed in 2015 which extended the lifetime of the reactors by ten years. The case was brought by two environmental organisations, Bond Beter Leefmilieu (BBL) and Inter-Environnement Wallonie. The two reactors came into service in 1975, and should have closed in 2015. But to fill the requirements of the electricity industry at the time, a law was passed extending the lifetime of the reactors for ten years. However, the Court ruled, that law is unconstitutional, as it required an environmental assessment report be carried out, which never happened. That effectively suspends the 2015 law, but the court said it would allow it to remain in force until the end of 2022. The government must now organise the lengthy procedure to take place of commissioning an environmental assessment report and the public enquiry procedure that goes with it. It must then pass a new law through the various stages in parliament. If that is not completed by the end of 2022, the two reactors will have to close down then, three years earlier than planned.
Brussels Times 6th March 2020 read more »