Nuclear energy in the Netherlands
Researchers in the Netherlands began studying nuclear energy in the 1930s and began construction of research reactor Dodewaard in 1955. Researchers’ goal was to introduce nuclear power technology by 1962 and replace fossil fuels. In 1968, a test nuclear reactor was attached to the power grid. This unit was shut down in 1997.
In the 1970s, the Dutch chose a policy that required reprocessing all spent nuclear fuel. In 1984, the government decided to create a long-term (100 years) storage facility for all intermediate and low-level radioactive waste and research strategies for ultimate disposal. In September 2003, the Central Organization for Radioactive Waste created an interim storage facility for high-level waste.
The Netherlands' only commercial nuclear reactor is Borssele, which became operational in 1973 and as of 2011[update] produces about 4% of the country’s electricity. The older Dodewaard nuclear power plant was a test reactor that later got attached to the national grid but was closed in 1997.
A 2MW research reactor is located in Delft, as part of the physics department of Delft University of Technology. This reactor is not meant for energy provision, but used as neutron- and positron-source for research.
In 1994, the Netherlands' parliament voted to phase out nuclear power after a discussion of nuclear waste management. In 1997, the power station at Dodewaard was shut down and the government decided it was planning to end Borssele's operating license in 2003. But in 2003, with a new government in power, the shutdown was postponed to 2013. In 2006 the government decided that Borssele would remain open until 2034, if it complied with the highest safety standards. The owners, Essent and Delta, will invest 500 million euro in sustainable energy, together with the government—money which the government claims otherwise should have been paid to the plants' owners as compensation. After the 2010 election, the new government was open to expanding nuclear power. Both of the companies that share ownership of Borssele are proposing to build new reactors.
In January 2012, Delta announced it postpones any decision to start building a second nuclear power plant.
- "Nuclear Power in the Netherlands". World Nuclear Association (WNA). January 2011. Retrieved 2011-02-21.
- Orlowski, Andrew (10 February 2011). "Holland slashes carbon targets, shuns wind for nuclear". The Register. Retrieved 2011-02-21.
- Gassmann, Michael (8 February 2011). "Energiepolitik: Holland plant strahlende Zukunft". Financial Times Deutschland (in German). Retrieved 2011-02-21.