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Industrial War Zone | by Roberto Braam
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Industrial War Zone

The Doel Nuclear Power Station is one of the two nuclear power plants in Belgium. The plant is located on the bank of the Scheldt, near the village of Doel in the Flemish province of East Flanders.

Doel is threatened with complete demolition due to the future enlargement of the harbour of Antwerp. This has seen many people having to sell their homes to the development corporation of that enlargement. Many historical buildings will be destroyed.

 

The village has many historic buildings, including the oldest stone windmill of the country (1611), and the only windmill on a sea wall. The Baroque Hooghuis (1613) that is associated with the entourage and holdings of the famous 17th century Antwerp painter, Peter Paul Rubens.

 

Some of the other historical and cultural buildings in the town area are the "Reynard Farm" (De Reinaerthoeve), with a monumental farmhouse and barn. "De Doolen" is a historic school. "De Putten", or "The Wells", is a peat extraction area and has an historically unique 18th-century farmstead and inn site "The Old Hoefyzer", with one of the last remaining historic barns.

 

The Flemish Executive started with the demolition of the village of Doel on a massive scale. The historic village is situated in the vicinity of the Port of Antwerp. However, there are still inhabitants in the village who resist the demolition of their homes. This triggered the Flemish Executive to send a squad of riot police to the village in order to force through the start of the demolition works. The sheer brutality and heavy-handed approach of the Flemish Executive has left the remaining villagers humiliated and the wider region in a state of shock. The streets are strewn with rubble, big ugly gaps appeared in between the houses. The village now looks like a war-torn zone. But still, the villagers show resilience and announced to go on with their resistance in a bid to save their village.

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Taken on July 29, 2014