Dozens of Dutch homes too close to underground high-voltage cables: report

Underground high voltage cables
Underground high voltage cables. (Photo: S.J. de Waard / Wikimedia Commons)

At least dozens of Dutch homes are located too close to underground high-voltage cables, RTL Nieuws reports based on its own research. The Dutch Health Council has indications that children who live close to these cables have a higher risk of leukemia.

The actual location of ground cables is a secret, because the National Coordinator for Counter-terrorism and Security is concerned that they may be targeted in attacks if their locations were known. Despite this RTL Nieuws managed to identify a number of locations where the radiation from underground cables is too high in nearby homes. 

The Health Council has strong indications that radiation from these cables pose a health risk to children. "We know that it gives a slightly higher chance of childhood leukemia", Council chairman Pim van Gool said to RTL. The Council therefore wants underground cables to be treated just as carefully as those above ground. That means allowing no new homes, schools and child care centers to be built close to them. And the government helping people currently living close to these cables relocate if they want to. 

Minister Eric Wiebes of Economic Affairs and Climate and State Secretary Stientje van Veldhoven of Infrastructure and Water Management told RTL in a reaction that they find this matter important and hear the concerns of residents. "This issue is new and we take it very seriously. We will urgently look at the nature of the risks and in which way policy can be strengthened. It is beyond dispute that our energy supply must be safe for all Dutch people."