It may well be possible that two of Belgium's nuclear reactors, Doel 3 and Tihange 2, will never be put online again. Small cracks in the nuclear vessels are turning out to be a bigger problem than initially thought. The two nuclear reactors have been offline for some time now, and this will remain the case at least until next spring. New tests dashed hopes of getting them started again during winter. And there is more. They may even never get started again, the VRT learned from several reliable sources. The latest news only adds to Belgium's imminent power supply problems for next winter.
PARIS, Aug 14 (Reuters) - Belgian energy company Electrabel said its Doel 4 nuclear reactor would stay offline at least until the end of this year after major damage to its turbine, with the cause confirmed as sabotage.
On Tuesday, Electrabel had said the plant would remain offline until Sept. 15 as it carried out repairs and investigated an oil leak that forced its closure on Aug. 5. Its French parent company GDF Suez confirmed the closure was due to sabotage.
26 Mar (NucNet): The Doel-3 and Tihange-2 nuclear reactor units in Belgium were shut down today after tests related to the reactor pressure vessels (RPVs) showed “unexpected results”, Electrabel, a subsidiary of French energy company GDF Suez and operator of the stations, said.
Tests carried out at Belgium’s nuclear research reactor BR-2 in Mol consisted of accelerated irradiation of a test block with the same composition and properties as the Doel-3 and Tihange-2 RPVs.
The Belgian nuclear regulator said Tuesday it wanted more information before it could make a final decision on whether to restart two reactors, shut down last year after cracks were found in them.
The regulator, AFCN, said that it had received detailed reports on the Doel 3 and the Tihange 2 reactors from various experts and at this stage saw "no reason that they be shut down definitively."
Two of Belgium's nuclear reactions have been standing idle since the summer, but in a report for the government and the Belgian nuclear watchdog electricity generator Electrabel says that both Doel 3 in Flanders and Tihange 2 in Wallonia can be taken back into service forthwith.
The reactors were shut down after thousands of tiny tears were discovered in a valve linked to the reactor vessel.
London, 29 August (Argus) — The restart of the 1,006MW Doel nuclear power unit 3 in Belgium has been pushed back by a further two months, according to French utility GDF Suez, which operates the unit through its Belgian subsidiary Electrabel.
The unit is now forecast to go back on line on 1 December, two months later than the previous forecast.
Dominion's four Virginia nuclear units have reactor pressure vessels made by the same manufacturer that supplied a Belgian reactor shut down because of possible vessel cracking, a Dominion spokesman said Friday.
Dominion is following developments in Belgium, but has not been notified by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission of any information related to the incident, Richard Zuercher said.
The discovery of possible cracks in a Belgian nuclear reactor should trigger urgent testing around the EU, but such decisions are for national governments to take, a European Commission spokeswoman said on Thursday.
"National authorities will conduct tests, that seems obvious," said Marlene Holzner, spokeswoman for EU energy commissioner Guenther Oettinger. "The European Commission can make recommendations, but it can't make them binding," she stressed.
BRUSSELS—Belgium has halted one of its seven nuclear reactors on suspicion that one of its components might be cracked, the country's atomic power regulator said Wednesday.
"We have found anomalies," said Karina De Beule, spokesman for the ACFN, the federal agency for nuclear control. The agency is "evaluating these anomalies, if they can cause cracks," Ms. De Beule said, adding that the 1,006-megawatt Doel 3 reactor will remain shut at least until the end of August.
France's GDF Suez has paid the Belgian government a 2010 nuclear tax payment of Eur212 million ($276 million), a company spokeswoman said Thursday.
Through its subsidiary Electrabel, GDF Suez operates almost all of Belgium's 5.9 GW of nuclear capacity.