Netherlands Utility Delays Nuclear Plant Plan

Dutch government is still in favor of nukes, but uncertain environment puts project on the shelf

1 min read
Netherlands Utility Delays Nuclear Plant Plan

The Netherlands is among the few European countries that remain supportive of nuclear power in the wake of the Fukushima disaster. But plans to build a new nuclear plant in the small nation have apparently been shelved due to an uncertain economic environment.

The Dutch utility company Delta NV had plans to build at least one new reactor, with a generating capacity of 1600 megawatts, at the Borssele Nuclear Power Station. This would have been a substantial bump for the country's nuclear generating capacity; the lone reactor currently at Borssele, rated at 485 MW [pictured, above], accounts for only about 4 percent of the country's electricity.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the decision to shelve the new plans for at least two or three years is a response to the Euro zone debt crisis as well as uncertainty surrounding carbon trading schemes.

But it should be noted, though, that Germany, newly opposed to nuclear power, has expressed opposition to neighboring countries' nuke plans, including those of Poland and the Netherlands. Germany wants to phase out all of its nuclear power, a process that some say will cost trillions of dollars.

Germany's gripe with its neighbors is, in my opinion, a reasonable one to at least consider. If the general movement away from nuclear power is based on a desire to avoid potentially catastrophic accidents, it makes much more sense for such decisions to be regional rather than national. Nuclear fallout, after all, does not care where the Netherlands or Poland stops and Germany begins.

(Image via Wikimedia Commons/Bodoklecksel)

The Conversation (0)
This photograph shows a car with the words “We Drive Solar” on the door, connected to a charging station. A windmill can be seen in the background.

The Dutch city of Utrecht is embracing vehicle-to-grid technology, an example of which is shown here—an EV connected to a bidirectional charger. The historic Rijn en Zon windmill provides a fitting background for this scene.

We Drive Solar

Hundreds of charging stations for electric vehicles dot Utrecht’s urban landscape in the Netherlands like little electric mushrooms. Unlike those you may have grown accustomed to seeing, many of these stations don’t just charge electric cars—they can also send power from vehicle batteries to the local utility grid for use by homes and businesses.

Debates over the feasibility and value of such vehicle-to-grid technology go back decades. Those arguments are not yet settled. But big automakers like Volkswagen, Nissan, and Hyundai have moved to produce the kinds of cars that can use such bidirectional chargers—alongside similar vehicle-to-home technology, whereby your car can power your house, say, during a blackout, as promoted by Ford with its new F-150 Lightning. Given the rapid uptake of electric vehicles, many people are thinking hard about how to make the best use of all that rolling battery power.

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