Thousands form 90km human chain demanding closure of nuclear plants

Around 50,000 people gathered on Sunday to form a human chain between the Belgian district of Tihange and the German city of Aachen to protest against the continued use of two Belgian nuclear power plants.

Participants from Belgium, Germany and The Netherlands called upon the Belgian authorities to close the Tihange 2 and Doel 3 reactors amid increasing safety concerns after a number of cracks were found in the walls of their pressure vessels. Organisers of the event, representing several anti-nuclear associations, said that their objectives of the protest were mostly achieved as the thousands gathered spanned a distance of 90km.

Last year the German environment minister Barbara Hendricks, urged Belgium to take the two nuclear reactors offline. Germany had already announced that they plan to close all of their nuclear plants by 2022.

Seven nuclear reactors are still currently in use across Belgium. These reactors produce 55 percent of the country’s electricity supply, according to Electrabel, the company who manage the reactor sites. The Belgian government has vowed to phase out nuclear power completely by 2025.