Public participation possible for Ennatuurlijk licence for operations involving natural radioactivity

The Authority for Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection (ANVS) intends to grant Ennatuurlijk Aardwarmte Holding B.V. authorisation for operations involving natural radioactivity at several locations in the Municipality of Hollandse Kroon and the Municipality of Medemblik. Between 17 May and 28 June 2024, you can review and submit a response to the draft licence.

Natural radioactivity associated with geothermal energy

Ennatuurlijk is a company that extracts hot water from underground geothermal sources to heat greenhouses, for example. Radioactive materials have existed in the deep subsurface of the Earth since its formation. These materials may be brought to the surface along with the hot water during the pumping process. The radioactive materials occur in low concentrations in the water and can accumulate in the filters, for example. This accumulation may cause a filter or other part of Ennatuurlijk’s geothermal energy plant to become radioactive. The draft licence specifies safe practices for the company in handling this.

Ennatuurlijk must implement measures to protect workers and surroundings

This necessitates the implementation of precautionary radiation protection measures, such as concrete blocks shielding the plant and restricting access. These measures are designed to protect the people working on site, for example. In addition, the contaminated parts or filters may not be treated as ordinary waste. Ennatuurlijk must dispose of them as radioactive waste.

The licence states what measures Ennatuurlijk must take to guarantee the safety of workers and the surroundings of the geothermal energy plant. The licence authorises Ennatuurlijk to have a certain amount of radioactive materials in their possession. They may also take samples of radioactive materials that are present in the geothermal energy plant.

Authorisation for storage and disposal of radioactive materials and contaminated parts

Ennatuurlijk may temporarily store the radioactive materials in a special storage facility that meets the legal requirements. They have a maximum period of two years within which to transport waste containing radioactive materials to a waste processor licensed to receive such waste. In the case of Ennatuurlijk, the transportation is usually made to Mineralz Maasvlakte.

Parts and instruments of the geothermal energy plant can become contaminated with radioactive materials. The company may store such parts and instruments for a maximum period of four years, after which they must be cleaned by a specialised company. Cleaning is not necessary if it is determined that the radioactivity has significantly decreased due to natural decay.

Responses can be submitted until the end of 19 June 2024

You can review the draft licence (in Dutch) for Ennatuurlijk up to and including 19 June 2024. If you have any views on this draft licence you wish to present, you may do so by submitting a statement of opinion. The official announcement tells you exactly how to do this.

There are 3 ways to respond:

  1. By email: send an email to and put ‘Statement of Opinion concerning draft licence for Ennatuurlijk’ in the subject line of your email.
  2. In writing: send a letter to the ANVS, Statement of Opinion concerning draft licence for Ennatuurlijk, P.O. Box 16001, 2500 BA The Hague.
  3. By phone: call the Information Desk for Nuclear Energy Act permits at +31 (0)88 489 05 00, available from Monday to Friday between 08.30 and 17.00.

We will respond to all statements of opinion once we have made a final decision on t)e licence application by Ennatuurlijk. We will include your statements of opinion and our response to them in our final decision on the licence. This decision will also be published on our website. If you have submitted a statement of opinion, you will receive a link to the definitive licence if you have requested one.

For more information

Please read the official announcement (in Dutch) in the Government Gazette.