Starting tomorrow you risk up to 1 year in prison for a photo or recording of a nuclear power plant in Belgium

Making aerial or satellite images of Belgian nuclear power plants and other large nuclear installations was previously banned in 2020, but now there is an extension of that legislation. “That has everything to do with nuclear security,” says Ines Venneman of the Federal Agency for Nuclear Control (FANC). “We want to prevent images of our nuclear sites from circulating on the internet and thus ending up with people with bad intentions.”

Now it goes a step further. All types of images, including tourist photos, are prohibited. “After two years, we have established that other images can also be problematic for security. For example, the entrance can be clearly visible on a normal tourist photo. That is why an extension of the legislation was necessary.”

Exception possible

Anyone who still takes photos risks a fine of 208 to 800 euros and a prison sentence of between eight days and a year. “The situation is assessed on a case-by-case basis. The penalty is determined by the criminal court. What is new is that our inspectors from the FANC can now also make findings and draw up an official report.”

However, exceptions are possible. “The operators of the nuclear power plants are still allowed to take pictures or record them. Although the FANC can impose conditions for use and distribution. In addition, anyone can submit an application to take pictures to Annelies Verlinden, the Minister for the Interior (CD&V).”

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