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US, Belgian Energy Companies Accused of Criminal Negligence

Posted by feww on February 3, 2016

Southern California Gas Company & Belgian energy company Electrabel sued for criminal negligence

California Attorney General has filed a lawsuit against SoCal Gas Co, the company responsible for a massive gas leak near Los Angeles. There are now 11 local, state and federal agencies that are either suing or investigating the company, owned by Sempra Energy, a San Diego-based corporation whose board of directors includes Kathleen Brown, the sister of Gov. Jerry Brown.

The leak in Porter Ranch, which was discovered on 23 October, has forced more than 13,000 nearby residents from their homes.

More than 92,000 metric tons of methane have escaped from Aliso Canyon since Oct. 23.

The following statement was issued by Brown’s office in January, two months after the leak was first reported:

Given the prolonged and continuing duration of the Aliso Canyon gas leak and at the request of residents and local officials, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today issued a proclamation that declares the situation an emergency and details the administration’s ongoing efforts to help stop the leak. The order also directs further action to protect public health and safety, ensure accountability and strengthen oversight of gas storage facilities.

German city to sue Belgian nuclear power plant

The German city of Aachen is suing a nearby nuclear station for failure to fix safety issues at the aging plant. “The suit alleges that a reactor was brought back online with cracks in the protective concrete,” said a report.

The German city of Aachen and the federal government are launching a lawsuit against Tihange nuclear power plant in Belgium.

The Tihange nuclear power plant lies about 71 kilometers (44 miles) from Aachen, and the city itself is directly on Germany’s border with Belgium. According to city authorities, they are suing for breach of European law over re-commissioning a faulty reactor in an effort to have the entire power station shut down.

German media reported that one of Tihange’s reactors, called Tihange 2, was taken offline in March 2014 due to hairline cracks in the concrete blocks. The reactor was then put back in service in March 2015 without the necessary repairs, according to Aachen’s legal claim.

A series of dangerous incidents

“In recent weeks, the nuclear power plants Doel and Tihange have had several hazardous incidents. People in the ‘three-country region’ [of German, Belgium and the Netherlands] are deeply unsettled and worried,” according to a press release issued by the Aachen officials.

The suit will be heard by the Belgian courts first, but could also be lodged with the EU Court in Brussels, “with the aim of decommissioning Tihange 2,” said the report.

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