Nuclear accident could lead to evacuation

This graph shows that the Aachen city region would be directly affected in the event of a reactor accident at Tihange

This diagram shows that the Aachen city region would be directly affected in the event of a reactor accident at Tihange.

"In the event of an incident at the Tihange 2 nuclear power plant, which is only about 70 kilometers away, with a failure of the reactor pressure vessel, the Aachen region could become uninhabitable," notes Professor Dr. Wolfgang Renneberg of the Institute for Safety and Risk Sciences at the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna, makes it unequivocally clear that. "People's fear is justified and never before have they had such clear, unified expectations of politicians – namely to have Tihange shut down," explains Councillor for the Stadteregion Helmut Etschenberg.

Lifelong consequences

And the study makes it clear how urgently action must be taken. "Due to the weather conditions, the Aachen region is in the main exposure area in the event of a radioactive release at Tihange," adds Dr. Renneberg. The comparison of over 3.000 real weather records of the past decades shows: Radioactive cloud would be in Aachen in four hours. In unfavorable weather conditions, the effects would be comparable to the 20-kilometer exclusion zone at Fukushima. However, this catastrophe would not only affect the three-country region of Aachen, but also large parts of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg beyond NRW. The radiation-contaminated particles are in the air and sink spontaneously to the ground or are washed away by the rain. "Once these particles are ingested, they have lifelong consequences," warns prof. Dr. med. Alfred Bocking from the Institute of Pathology at Duren Hospital. Radiation sickness, organ damage, cancer, Chernobyl Aids and, in the case of unborn children, inhibition malformations and stillbirths are some of them. According to the study, after a super-GAU there will be 3.000 additional cancer patients, of whom 1.000 die each year.

Stay at home

That is why Alfred Bocking advises: "In an emergency, do not jump into your car and try to flee the contaminated area. Better entrench yourself at home immediately, close the windows and open your canned food". A 15-centimeter-thick concrete wall could block 90 percent of the harmful gamma radiation. Respiratory masks and iodine tablets can also be used as precautions. "Seven to eight days pass before the radioactive cloud has moved on. Then, if necessary, further steps will be taken, such as evacuation," says Bocking, explaining the further procedure in an emergency. The probability that the Aachen region would be affected by a fallout that led to resettlement in Chernobyl is ten percent. Councillor Etschenberg: "According to experts, a serious accident can occur in Tihange 2, against which no disaster control system in the world can protect us – the only sensible protection would be to shut down Tihange 2 and Doel 3!"

Medienhaus Weiss joins lawsuit

Weiss-Druck GmbH& Co. KG joined the lawsuit of the Aachen city region and lists the following reasons: We see in the nuclear power plant Tihange i. B. in the case of reactor 2, due to the safety gaps in the accident, a severe risk to the Weiss Group. As an owner-managed group of companies in the 4. We want to continue to operate successfully in the market in the future with our second generation We accept our social responsibility towards the ca. 1.000 employees at the Monschau site very seriously. An incident has a direct impact (Monschau site is a service provider in many areas) on our subsidiaries and sister companies at distant sites in NRW, Brandenburg, Rhineland-Palatinate and Hesse. Damage and consequential damage from an incident are not covered by insurance.