Germany has asked Belgium to take two of its nuclear reactors offline, citing safety concerns. The environment minister said doing so would show that Brussels “takes the concerns of its German neighbors seriously.” Barbara Hendricks urged Belgium on Wednesday to take its Tihange 2 and Doel 3 reactors offline “until open safety questions are cleared up.” German officials have expressed concerns over the safety of the reactor pressure vessels.

Taking the reactors offline “would be a strong precautionary signal and would show that Belgium takes the concerns of its German neighbors seriously,” Hendricks said in a statement. Deputy Environment Minister Jochen Flasbarth stressed that such a request has never before been made by Germany to a neighboring state. FULL REPORT