Tuesday’s fatal attacks on Brussels airport and the Maalbeck metro station have galvanised plans that were already in motion to protect the Doel and Tihange nuclear plants, which together comprise seven reactors.
Just two weeks ago, the Belgian government announced that 140 troops would be deployed in a special operation to patrol the nuclear sites.
The heightened security measures were put in place following the Paris terror attacks in November last year, particularly because a video found at the home of a suspected terrorist suggested it was possible that Belgium’s nuclear plants were being targeted for an attack.
The cost of the extra security measures is being met by Belgian energy company Electrabel, which operates the plants.
Power Engineering International’s Digital Editor Diarmaid Williams was in Brussels this morning as the bombs went off.
He is attending COGEN Europe’s annual conference, The Power of Heat, at the Crowne Plaza-Le Palace hotel in the heart of Brussels.
Luxembourg MEP Claude Turmes was due to speak but he was unable to make it as Brussels went into lockdown.
Dr Christian Friebe of Thuga AG was also due to appear, but his plane was diverted to Cologne just as it was about to land at Brussels. He ended up delivering his presentation via an online link from his company’s Munich offices.
Diarmaid Williams said: “Sirens outside were incessant all throughout the day andà‚ the police and army presence is very visible. We have been told to stay inside the hotel staff are vigilant in who they allow in and out.”