Flanders may want to participate in the construction of two new nuclear power plants in the Netherlands. The Flemish energy minister Zuhal Demir can envision a co-investment as part of ‘a joint low country energy plan’, the Belga news agency quotes the minister.

Our Council of Ministers gave final approval on Friday for the construction of two new nuclear power plants, which must be ready in 2035. They will preferably be located in Borssele in Zeeland, not far from the border with Belgium. An ‘indicative budget’ of EUR 5 billion has been made available. However, an investment of billions must be added from the groups that will operate the nuclear power plants.

While the Dutch cabinet has embraced nuclear energy as part of the solution to the climate problem, the Belgian federal government decided years ago to close all nuclear power stations. However, given the energy crisis following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it was decided earlier this year to keep two reactors open longer.

Not authorized

Demir admits to the Flemish broadcaster VRT that she is not actually authorized to make decisions about energy production. “That’s federal. But if the Netherlands starts building new nuclear power plants right on the border, I will not stand on the sidelines.” The minister wants to start ‘exploratory talks’ with her Dutch colleague Rob Jetten this year.

A Jetten spokesperson says that cooperation with the southern neighbors is ‘not excluded’, but that it is still too early to say more about that.