The two faces of German Minister of Environment Barbara Hendricks

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Complaining about Belgian nuclear power plants and delivering nuclear fuel elements to those scrap reactors!

The German Minister of Environment Barbara Hendricks (SPD) mentioned during the last two years several times, that the Belgian nuclear power plants Tihange 2 and Doel 3 are dangerous. In media she complained about many small fissures in the nuclear reactor containment, many critical incidents and slack Belgian nuclear controllership. Hendricks also requested the Belgian government to close Tihange 2.

But the same Minister of Environment Barbara Hendricks is head of German "Bundesamt für Ausfuhrkontrolle" (BAFA = department of export control). This department allows the export of German nuclear fuel elements from Areva's facility in Lingen/Emsland to Tihange 2, Doel 3, Fessenheim (France) and other known critical nuclear power plants. The first export from Lingen to Tihange 2 started in March 2017. German environmental groups confronted Hendricks with these exports, but Hendricks just said, she wouldn't be able to stop the export of nuclear fuel elements. Furthermore the German uranium enrichment facility in Gronau/ Westfalen is delivering enriched uranium for the Belgian nuclear company Electrabel - also with licence of Minister Hendricks and BAFA. Both uranium facilities, Areva's nuclear fuel element facility in Lingen and Urenco's uranium enrichment facility in Gronau aren't part of the German nuclear phase-out: They have licences until the end of time for enriching uranium and producing nuclear fuel elements for nuclear power plants all over the world.

By now there are two juridical statements that there is still the possibility for Hendricks and the BAFA to stop export of nuclear fuel elements from Lingen or enriched uranium from Gronau to Tihange 2 and other scrap reactors, because Hendricks herself explained that Tihange 2 is a threat to German cities and citizens. German law says it is prohibited to export nuclear material if it can cause danger to Germany and its citizens. Belgian anti-nuclear activists lawyers are up to check possibilities to stop Hendricks' licence for the export of nuclear fuel elements.

So on 25th of June many people will take part in a Human Chain Reaction between the nuclear power plant Tihange, Liege, Maastricht and Aachen. Demonstrating for the shut-down of the Belgian and all other nuclear power plants, especially activists from Münsterland and Emsland want to point out the necessary stop of German nuclear fuel exports from Lingen and Gronau.

To underline the missing nuclear phase-out in Gronau and Lingen environmental groups are calling for a demonstration on 9th of September in Lingen/Emsland. Also situated in Lingen are the nuclear power plant Lingen II, operating until 2022, the nuclear ruin of Lingen I and a repository for nuclear waste nobody has a solution for ...

SofA Münster

More information (in German):