Europe

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Will nuclear reactors Doel 3 and Tihange 2 ever get restarted?

Thursday, August 21, 2014

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.

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Belgian Doel 4 nuclear reactor closed till year-end

Thursday, August 14, 2014

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.

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Areva's stock plunges on sales warning

Sunday, August 3, 2014

PARIS, Aug 1 (Reuters) - Shares in French nuclear power group Areva closed 20 percent lower on Friday, the worst fall since the company was formed in 2001, as it posted a first-half loss, exited a thermal solar power business and cut sales targets.

The shares were down by as much as 23 percent earlier in the session with trading the busiest by volume since late February, when Areva posted a net loss of nearly half a billion euros.

Chief Executive Luc Oursel dropped a long-held target to sell 10 nuclear reactors by 2016, saying it would "take a few more years" and the firm warned that 2014 revenue would fall 10 percent, more than the 2-5 percent decline forecast in February.

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Bulgaria signs nuclear deal with Westinghouse

Friday, August 1, 2014

SOFIA, Aug 1 (Reuters) - Bulgaria, one of five EU states that depend totally on Russia for nuclear fuel, and Westinghouse Electric Company signed a shareholder agreement on Friday paving the way for construction of a new nuclear reactor estimated to cost $5 billion.

The deal, which still requires the approval of Bulgaria's next government, will help the Balkan country reduce its energy dependence on Russia at a time of increased tensions between Moscow and the European Union over Ukraine.

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Irradiation of a worker during an intervention using gamma ray projector

During a weld inspection operation carried out by two employees of the Welding Institute on a worksite in Pau using gamma radiography equipment , the radioactive source of the gamma ray projector jammed inside its guide tube.

Using a metal rod found on site, one of the operators managed to free the jammed source and return it to the safe position in the body of the device. During this operation, the operator was directly exposed to the radiation emitted by the radioactive source.

Category: Irradiation/Accelerators Facility France »

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Overexposure of a service technician repairing a biplane X-ray system

While repairing a biplane cardiovascular X-ray system in a hospital, a service technician accidentally activated the system’s floor pedal. Moving a mobile lead shield, he did not realize that the shield was jamming the pedal. He continued his work under unnoticed exposure for about 5 minutes until the system alarm was automatically activated. Most of the time, the upper part of his body was very close to the lateral x-ray tube. He wore a lead apron during the exposure but he forgot to wear his dosimeter that day.

Category: Irradiation/Accelerators Facility Switzerland »

The EU's nuclear links with Russia

Monday, July 28, 2014

The EU has 18 Russian-designed nuclear power plants

Following the loss of the Malaysian airliner last week, European leaders are once again wrestling with the question of how to respond to Russia over its role in the Ukraine crisis.

They are reluctant to get tough, much more so than the United States.

The EU could easily end up doing itself a lot of economic harm, most obviously if Russia were to respond by turning down the gas.

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Cernavoda 3&4 construction back on after Candu Energy signs cooperation deal with Chinese state company

Monday, July 28, 2014

SNC Lavalin subsidiary Candu Energy has signed a 'binding and exclusive' contract with China Nuclear Power Engineering Company, Ltd. (CNPEC) for the construction of CANDU Units 3 and 4 at the Cernavoda Nuclear Power Plant in Romania in Vancouver. The agreement was witnessed by senior representatives of China's National Energy Administration and Natural Resources Canada.

This agreement follows a letter of intent signed by CNPEC's parent company China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) and Romanian utility Societatea Nationala Nuclearelectrica (SNN) in November 2013 for investment in and development of two additional nuclear units at the Cernavoda site.

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Exposure of a worker during radiographic inspections

On 18th April 2014, ASN was informed by the DCNS of an incident which occurred during the night of 17th to 18th April 2014 during radiographic inspections on the Nantes – Indret à La Montagne site. A team, consisting of an operator from the OTECMI company’s Plabennec office and an operator from the SGS Qualitest Industrie company’s Harfleur office, was carrying out radiographic inspections using a gamma ray projector containing a sealed radioactive source of iridium 192 with an activity of 1.95 TBq (terabecquerels) in one of the workshops on the DCNS site.

Category: Radiation Source France »

Safety alert shuts down Torness nuclear reactor

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

A nuclear reactor at Torness power plant has been shut down after a safety alert was triggered.

The incident at the plant, which is one of Scotland’s main power stations, happened just weeks after £30 million was spent on the same reactor to get it back online.

The shutdown means the power station is now only pumping out around a quarter of the energy it usually produces as the second reactor is currently working at a reduced capacity ahead of scheduled maintenance work.

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