Transboundary Environmental Public Consultation

Proposed project consisting of the 10 years extension of the operation of the Doel 4 and Tihange 3 nuclear reactors,  including related nuclear safety-related improvement works

 

In accordance with the provisions of the 1991 United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (“the Espoo Convention”) and the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (“Aarhus” Convention), the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage received notification from the Belgian Directorate General for Energy in relation to the approval of a draft bill to allow the continued operation of the Doel 4 and Tihange 3 nuclear reactors for another 10 years.

The Nuclear Power Plant of Doel is located in the Port of Antwerp, on the river Scheldt, approximately 6km from the border between Belgium and the Netherlands. The Nuclear Power Plant of Tihange is located on the bank of the Meuse River, near the village of Tihange in the Walloon province of Liége, approximately 40 km from the border between Belgium and the Netherlands and approximately 65 km from the border with Germany and Luxembourg. Belgian authorities have advised that, in keeping with their Espoo Convention obligations, countries within a 1000km radius of these nuclear power plants will be consulted.

The proposed project consists of the 10 years extension of the operation of Doel 4 and Tihange 3 reactors and the nuclear safety-related improvement works related to that extension. The proposed project is submitted to an environmental impact assessment in Belgium. The Belgian government considers that the proposed project plays a vital role in securing its supply of electricity until 2035. The project is also in line with the policy that the European Commission wishes to pursue increased independence from fossil fuels and diversified energy supply.

A nationwide public consultation will open for submissions on Wednesday 17 May 2023. A member of the public may make a written submission or observation in relation to the potential transboundary environmental effects of the project, by close of business on Wednesday 21 June 2023 at the latest. Submissions or observations should be made directly to Belgian authorities at the following email address:

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Members of the public may wish to visit the Dublin City Council public consultation portal at the link below to view correspondence from the Belgian Ministry, associated documents and links provided to the full Environmental Impact Assessment Report and all other documentation relating to the development consent application for the proposed development. 

https://consultation.dublincity.ie/planning/belgium-doel-4-and-tihange-3

The public consultation notice is also available to view in the office of the Planning Section of each local authority nationwide during office hours, by appointment if required. A copy of these documents is available for inspection, or purchase at a fee not exceeding the reasonable cost of making a copy, during office hours. Links to all documents will be made available online by each local authority. Please contact your Local Authority for further details.

Viewings may be by appointment only in certain local authority offices, it is strongly advised to contact your local authority to clarify the position in this regard before travelling to view the documentation. All documentation related to the development consent application for the proposed development is also available to view on the website of the Belgian FPS Economy website, including any additional information accepted by the Belgian FPS Economy website at:

https://economie.fgov.be/en/Doel4-Tihange3