Nuclear, O&M, Reactors

Electrabel may shut down two nuclear reactors for good

Two nuclear reactors owned by Belgium’s Electrabel may remain offline until spring and could be permanently shut down.

Belgium’s Federal Agency for Nuclear Control (FANC) ordered the 1,008-MW Tihange 2 and the 1,006-MW Doel 3 nuclear reactorshut down in 2012 after finding indications of cracks in their core tanks, according to Reuters. The reactors restarted in May of 2013, but were shut down again in March 2014 after further inspections showed irregularities in the strength of the tanks.

Initial results show the tanks may be weakened by the cracks, but tests are not yet completed, the article said. Based on the results, the units may be closed until spring or permanently close.

The Doel 4 reactor was taken offline earlier this month due to damage to a steam turbine on the non-nuclear side of the plant. The damage may have been caused by sabotage, officials with FANC said in initial reports. The three reactors represent more than 3,000 MW of total nuclear capacity offline.

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