Belgian nuclear chief 'sceptical' reactor can be restarted

August 10, 2012
The head of Belgium's federal agency for nuclear safety AFCN said on Friday he was "sceptical" that an ageing reactor closed over fears of cracks could be restarted.

The head of Belgium's federal agency for nuclear safety AFCN said on Friday he was "sceptical" that an ageing reactor closed over fears of cracks could be restarted.

"I'm fairly sceptical for the moment," Willy de Roovere told RTBF public radio, even if "the possibility remains that I am wrong."

According to French-language daily Le Soir, a crack of between 15 and 20 millimetres (0.6 and 0.8 inches) was discovered during a test in June. There has been no denial of this report.

According to the agency, repairs are "practically impossible" and are "not an option" for fear of creating new tensions "which we must avoid at all costs."

Installing a replacement meanwhile has never been attempted anywhere because of the problem of high .

The head of Belgium's federal agency for nuclear safety AFCN said on Friday he was "sceptical" that an ageing reactor closed over fears of cracks could be restarted.

The AFCN revealed on Wednesday that the Doel 3 reactor, located 25 kilometres (20 miles) north of Antwerp, would remain closed at least until August 31 after the discovery of possible cracks in the protective vessel surrounding the core during routine June testing.

The agency is also mulling the permanent closure "in the worst case" of a second reactor in the country's south near Liege.

The tests showed "faults in the steel base material" on which the vessel is mounted, the AFCN said.

The Dutch firm, Rotterdam Drydocks, that made the vessels is out of business, which has amplified concerns about others it delivered in Europe and in the Americas.

Spain has indicated it has two reactors in the same bracket, Switzerland and Sweden one each.

The firm supplied one to the Netherlands, but had not manufactured it. The government in The Hague said it has still to decide whether to test its .

The said reactors supplied by the defunct company were no longer in service.

Representatives of bodies from all the countries involved will meet in Brussels on August 16 to "exchange information," the AFCN said.

Explore further: US experts unsure about Fukushima situation

Related Stories

US experts unsure about Fukushima situation

March 28, 2011

US experts have expressed uncertainty about the seriousness of the situation at Japan's Fukushima nuclear complex, steering clear of speculation whether the core of one of the reactors there had been damaged.

Small fire stops Swedish nuclear reactor

October 23, 2011

A small fire in a turbine hall shut down a Swedish nuclear reactor overnight but the blaze was swiftly extinguished, nuclear power plant officials said Sunday.

Belgium: Possible flaw in nuclear plant

August 10, 2012

(AP) — A possible hairline crack in the steel tank containing the reactor at a Belgian nuclear plant poses no danger to the public, the country's nuclear regulatory agency said Friday.

Recommended for you

Team develops targeted drug delivery to lung

September 2, 2015

Researchers from Columbia Engineering and Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) have developed a new method that can target delivery of very small volumes of drugs into the lung. Their approach, in which micro-liters ...

Team creates functional ultrathin solar cells

August 27, 2015

(Phys.org)—A team of researchers with Johannes Kepler University Linz in Austria has developed an ultrathin solar cell for use in lightweight and flexible applications. In their paper published in the journal Nature Materials, ...

Magnetic fields provide a new way to communicate wirelessly

September 1, 2015

Electrical engineers at the University of California, San Diego demonstrated a new wireless communication technique that works by sending magnetic signals through the human body. The new technology could offer a lower power ...

3 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Vendicar_Decarian
not rated yet Aug 11, 2012
How old is the reactor? What is it's design?
dtxx
1 / 5 (2) Aug 11, 2012
Maybe I gove up shotposts woll stop. As sppm as up lock meangiering, upi woll find someone else whow I was repeatedly told at my priouve empoyeer that I wu;d very see PAO our out of water// Tjee greaom pf ejsi;lver as pricy in some toher parths. Ypu many need it to maie it.
Love=Cave
ShotmanMaslo
3 / 5 (2) Aug 11, 2012
Doel 3 reactor came online in 1982, so its 30 years old. Its a 1006 MWe second-generation PWR, these were originaly designed for 30-40 years of operation.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.