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.

The possible flaw was discovered while the plant was shut for annual maintenance, Karina De Beule, a spokeswoman for AFCN, the Federal Agency for Nuclear Control, said Friday. She said the potential problem will keep the Doel 3 plant, which is north of Antwerp, offline at least until the end of August.

Asked if there was danger to the public, De Beule said, "Of course not. Even if we were to discover a fissure, not every fissure is a problem."

The annual inspection process worked as it should, De Beule told the Associated Press.

She also said that Belgium had immediately notified other countries using nuclear energy of the possible problem, so that they could check to see if their reactors use the same kind of tanks. Similarly, Belgium constantly receives information from other countries about the operations of their plants, she said.

"That's the normal way of working in the nuclear sector," she said.

Marlene Holzner, a European Union spokeswoman, confirmed Friday that Belgium had swiftly notified other countries. Assuring the safety of the plants falls to national authorities rather than to the EU, Holzner said

Explore further: Officials seek cause of reactor shutdown


Related Stories

Officials seek cause of reactor shutdown

November 3, 2006

Authorities are investigating the cause of the nuclear reactor shutdown at Three Mile Island near Harrisburg, Pa., although no radiation leaked in the incident.

EU to mull 'stress tests' for nuclear plants

March 15, 2011

The European Union will discuss Tuesday whether to conduct "stress tests" on atomic power plants to check their safety in light of Japan's nuclear crisis, a European Commission spokeswoman said.

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.

Brussels unhappy with Europe nuclear stress tests

April 26, 2012

The EU's energy chief Thursday deemed an almost year-long study on nuclear plant safety in Europe as short on detail and numbers and demanded further work before publication of the critical report.

Reactor at Bulgarian nuclear plant shut down

July 8, 2012

A 1,000-megawatt reactor at Bulgaria's Kozloduy nuclear plant was temporarily shut down early Saturday due to a turbogenerator problem, but no rise in radioactivity was recorded, a statement said.

Recommended for you

Xbox gaming technology may improve X-ray precision

December 1, 2015

With the aim of producing high-quality X-rays with minimal radiation exposure, particularly in children, researchers have developed a new approach to imaging patients. Surprisingly, the new technology isn't a high-tech, high-dollar ...

Making 3-D imaging 1,000 times better

December 1, 2015

MIT researchers have shown that by exploiting the polarization of light—the physical phenomenon behind polarized sunglasses and most 3-D movie systems—they can increase the resolution of conventional 3-D imaging devices ...


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.