26/02 | NuclearDoel 3 and Tihange 2 vessels file : Electrabel’s communication
Doel 3 and Tihange 2 vessels file : Electrabel’s communication
Electrabel was invited today to present the various current files relating to nuclear energy to the Parliament within the Sub Committee Nuclear Safety.
This opportunity, enabled Electrabel to provide an update on the ongoing investigations relating to the reactor vessels of Doel 3 and Tihange 2. Electrabel reminds that it decided to anticipate the planned outage for both reactors in March 2014 after one of the tests of the action plan, agreed with the Federal Agency for Nuclear Control (FANC), delivered non-compliant results.
More specifically, a program of mechanical and metallurgical testing and research was implemented. More than 500 tests were carried out on materials. In accordance with the requirements of the FANC, the inspection machine (MIS-B) was qualified and a new version of the software, that is used to interpret signals, has been developed. The vessels have then been re-inspected with increased sensitivity parameters. This new procedure has allowed to establish that:
- Due to the higher sensitivity of the analysis more indications have been reported than in the first study. This information has been published on the FANC’s website.
- The hydrogen flakes are on average larger than in the first inventory. The higher sensitivity of the machine leads indeed to the regrouping of several indications that are close to each other and to consider them as a single, larger indication.
Electrabel indicates that after the application of the same methodology in 2012 and 2014, it can be confirmed that the dimensions are identical for each indication. The same indications are located in the same place with the same dimensions. Therefore the hydrogen flakes formed during the forging process of the reactor vessel 40 years ago and detected in 2012 haven’t evolved.
Electrabel informs that it has contacted the various professors who are not involved in the case but have recently expressed themselves in the press. To avoid misunderstandings, Electrabel will inform them, if they wish, about the substance of the file and the characteristics of the phenomenon studied.
Electrabel insists on the fact that the huge work to answer the questions of the FANC is still running and it is therefore premature to draw any conclusion at this stage. Electrabel works with the most renowned specialists and several dozens of employees of the GDF SUEZ Group to examine this matter in the most advanced way. Once all the requests of the Agency will be answered, Electrabel will submit its file to the FANC. It is the Federal Agency for Nuclear Control that will then decide on the restart of both reactors. Electrabel will transparently communicate once the final files will be handed over to the authorities.
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