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EIA/IC/CI/9 Belgium

Tihange nuclear power plant


Party (State of origin) Affected Party (State)
Belgium Germany


Activity (Project)

Lifetime extension of unit 1 of Tihange nuclear power plant, in commercial operation since 1975. Tihange nuclear power plant is situated in the Walloon province of Liège, near the village of Tihange in Belgium, along the Meuse River. It is located 60 km from the border with North Rhine-Westphalia, 80 km from Rhineland-Palatinate and 39 km from the border with the Netherlands. The plant consists of three pressurized water reactors with a total power output of around 3000 MW, accounting for about 25% of the total electricity production in Belgium. 



Based on the information provided to it by the German Federal States of North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate on 14 March 2016 regarding the lifetime extensions of units 1 and 2 of Doel nuclear power plant and unit 1 of Tihange nuclear power plant,  and information gathered by the Committee since 2016 from Belgium, as party of origin, Germany, as potentially affected Party, and the German Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union, the Committee began at its fifty-second session (Geneva (online), 29-31 March 2022) a Committee initiative regarding Tihange unit 1 further to paragraph 6 of the Committee’s structure and functions.

Previously, at its fifty-first session (Geneva, 4-7 October 2021), the Committee had closed the consideration of units 1 and 2 of Doel nuclear power plant, after Belgium had initiated a transboundary procedure under the Convention regarding these two units further to the decision of the Constitutional Court of Belgium of 5 March 2020.

The Committee preliminarily concluded that the lifetime extension of unit 1 Tihange nuclear power plant fell under the scope of the Convention and that there was a profound suspicion of non-compliance by Belgium with its obligations under the Convention regarding that activity.

Further to paragraph 9 of the Committee’s structure and functions, the Committee invited Belgium and Germany to take part at its fifty-third session (Geneva (online), 10-13 May 2022) to participate in the discussion and to present information and opinions. The Committee prepared a non-exhaustive list of questions on which it would base its discussions with the Parties concerned during the hearing and invited the Parties concerned to provide written replies by 30 April 2022.

At the request of Belgium and Germany, the Committee rescheduled the hearing to its fifty-fourth session (Geneva, 4-7 October 2022) and invited both Parties to provide written answers to its list of non-exhaustive questions by 15 August 2022. Belgium and Germany responded to the questions in writing on 14 July and 15 August 2022, respectively. The secretariat shared the responses of both Parties with the other Party. The Committee received comments from the Parties concerned regarding each other’s responses on 20 September 2022.

The Committee, in the absence of the member nominated by Luxembourg, welcomed the delegations of Belgium and Germany to its fifty-fourth session and invited them to present information and opinions on the matter. It then questioned the two delegations. It welcomed the information provided by the Parties during the session, which mainly confirmed the contents of their written replies.

The Committee moved then to the preparation of the draft findings and recommendations, to be considered at its fifty-fifth session (Geneva, 31 January-3 February 2023).