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Olen, Belgium

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Title: Olen, Belgium  
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Subject: Antwerp (province), Liesbet De Vocht, Maaike Polspoel, Nuclear energy in Belgium, Arrondissement of Turnhout
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Olen, Belgium

Olen (Dutch pronunciation: ) is a municipality located in the Belgian province of Antwerp. The municipality actually comprises 3 towns, situated on a north-south axis:

  • South of the motorway E313 and the Albertkanaal (canal) is Olen proper, also called Olen-St-Martinus (Saint-Martins parish).
  • Between the Albertkanaal and Olen-station (railroad from Antwerp to Neerpelt and Hasselt) is the town of Boekel, also called Achter-Olen (Behind-Olen) or Onze-Lieve-Vrouw-Olen (parish).
  • North of the railroad is the town of St-Jozef-Olen (parish), also called Olen-Fabrieken (Olen-Factory, actually a refinery along the old canal Herentals-Bocholt, that was at its origin).

On January 1, 2009, Olen had a total population of 11,655. The total area is 23.10 km².

History of Uranium mining

In the 1920s and 1930s the Union Minière du Haut Katanga company, operating in the then Belgian colony of Congo, had a virtual monopoly of the world uranium market (holding most of the deposits known at the time). The uranium mined in Congo was mostly transported to the UMHK refinery for uranium ore which was located in Olen. Some 1200 tonnes of uranium stored at the Olen refinery were captured by the Germans during the invasion and occupation of Belgium in 1940, and only recovered by US troops at the end of World War 2.

Notable people


External links

  • Media related to Category: at Wikimedia Commons
  • Official website - Information available in Dutch, limited information available in English and French
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