The Dutch Plutonium Dead End
|Author||M.Pavageau, Mycle Schneider, WISE Paris|
|Classification||1.01.4.40/06 (WASTE - REPROCESSING, CONTRACTS & DISCUSSIONS)|
From the publication:
THE DUTCH PLUTONIUM DEAD END Mathieu Pavageau, Research Associate Mycle Schneider, Director WISE-Paris October 1997 Commissioned by Greenpeace-Netherlands INTRODUCTION Even though the Netherlands have not launched a large nuclear programme, and in particular did not order any nuclear power plant after 1973, both electricity utilities operating the only two nuclear reactors started a plutonium programme, in the framework of a European collaboration: both utilities signed reprocessing contracts; and the Dutch Cooperation of Electricity Producers (SEP1) owns shares of a European Fast-Breeder Reactor consortium. The objective of the plutonium programme was originally to produce plutonium in reprocessing plants to be used in breeder reactors. There are only two nuclear power plants in the Netherlands of which one is still operated. The electricity utility GKN2 operated the 57 MWe boiled water reactor (BWR) at Dodewaard, which went critical in 1968. At the beginning of October 1996, SEP announced that the Dodewaard nuclear power plant would be definitely shut down by March 1997, even though a large investment had been made recently to upgrade the safety of the plant. The reason would be of economic nature. The plant had previously been planned to be shut down by 1 January 1995, then by 2004. The plant was effectively shut down by the end of March 19973. The electricity utility EPZ4 operates the only operating nuclear power plant, the 459 MWe pressurised water reactor at Borssele, which went critical in 1973. This plant is now planned to be shut down by 2003.