Aachen urban region intends to take legal action against the Belgian Tihange nuclear power plant. The "Public Sector" team led by Ute Jasper (law firm of Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek) examined the legal possibilities and is now preparing the lawsuit, jointly with the Belgian law firm of blixt.
"The legal measures are not only directed at closing the Tihange 1 and 2 reactors, but also at obtaining information on operations and permits," explained Ute Jasper, Partner at Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek. "While the factual and legal situation is complicated, the odds are so good that we cannot let this opportunity pass by in the interest of the region’s concerned citizens." Aachen is in only 65 km straight-line distance from Tihange.
In recent weeks, there had been several incidents at the Tihange nuclear power plant. This had prompted City Region Council Helmut Etschenberg not to make political demands for the plant’s shutdown. Dissatisfied with the assumption of the environmental ministries in Berlin and Düsseldorf that German plaintiffs would not prevail in Belgium, he had ordered a diligent review of what steps could be taken. The process proved to be successful.
Numerous German and Dutch districts and cities supported Etschenberg in his approach. In addition to the nine municipalities of the urban region, supporters include the districts of Düren, Euskirchen, Heinsberg, Bitburg-Prüm, and Vulkaneifel, as well as the Dutch municipalities of Heerlen, Kerkrade, and Maastricht. It is of key importance for the lawsuits’ success whether formal mistakes were made in Belgium when issuing the permits or whether conditions for safe operation are missing. These issues will be examined in the next few weeks. It will also be reviewed whether the urban region will join the legal action already filed by Greenpeace against the Tihange 1 reactor.
HKLW: Dr. Ute Jasper (Lead, Düsseldorf/Brussels)
Dr. Laurence Westen (European Law, Düsseldorf/Brussels)
Dr. Anne-Kathrin Wilts (Environmental Law, Frankfurt a.M.)
blixt: Tim Vermeir (Brussels)
Tinne van der Straeten (Brussels)
Dr. Ute Jasper is one of the best-known lawyers for public procurement and public infrastructure projects. She advises federal and state ministries, municipalities, and companies. Ute Jasper heads Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek’s “Public Sector & Public Procurement” department. As recently as a few days ago, Jasper was recognized by Who´s Who Legal as “one of the very best in Germany” for public projects.