Images nuclear site

In the interest of public safety, Belgium passed a Law in March 2020 imposing the obligation for distributors of satellite images to blur the images of nuclear installations and other critical facilities. The Federal Agency for Nuclear Control (FANC) considered this a potential risk and asked the Minister of the Interior to take the necessary measures. 

Articles 3 and 4 of the Law of 23 March 2020 establish the sanctions for non-compliance with the blurring obligation. As a result of the adoption of this law aerial images of nuclear installations and critical facilities cannot be distributed nor used without blurring.

On Friday 28 January 2022, for the purpose of nuclear security, an extension of the law of 23 March 2020 on the blurring of images of nuclear installations and critical facilities came into effect.

The major modifications are:

  • Extension of the legislation to all sorts of images and recordings.
  • From 28 January 2022 onwards FANC inspectors may draw up an official report themselves if they identify a violation of the legislation.
  • The operator of the nuclear site can make photographs or recordings of the site, although conditions can be imposed on their use and dissemination.
  • Anyone who wishes to make photographs and/or recordings, can request in advance an exceptional authorization from the Minister of the Interior. The cabinet will then ask the FANC for advice on the application. There is also a possibility to grant permissions that are valid for a longer period and that are not limited to one single image recording (e.g. for journalists).

For the time being, there are no exceptions to this general rule, unless you have expressly been given permission. Below you will find the application procedure for the exceptional authorization.

However, the legislation provides for a number of clarifications, that will be announced in a royal decree in the coming months.

Application procedure for an authorization to make images

If you wish to make images on which nuclear facilities are visible, you must submit an application to the cabinet of the Minister of the Interior. The FANC will issue its advice on the application.

The data collected for this application are processed pending the legal provisions that will be regulated by Royal Decree. The purpose of this procedure is to obtain permission to make images of nuclear installations pending these legal provisions. For this procedure, some basic information on the applicant and the reason of the application are requested, in order to allow the conduct of a risk analysis and to make a decision on the possible exception to the law. These data are processed at the cabinet of the Minister of the Interior and sent to the FANC. The data will be deleted 1 year after the expiration of the granted exception or 1 year after the refusal of the application. For any further questions about the treatment of personal data, please contact the Data Protection Officer


Laatst aangepast op: 26/05/2023