Shutdown of the Doel 3 and Tihange 2 nuclear power stations

Last update March 25th 2013

In the summer 2012, inspections of the reactor vessels of Doel 3 and Tihange 2 nuclear power stations yielded findings that require further analysis. The reactors will stay out of service until final results are in.

Inspection of the reactor vessels

Nuclear power station Doel 3

Doel 3 nuclear power station was shut down for its 10-yearly overhaul on 2 June 2012. In addition to annual maintenance, the safety report also provides for a full check-up of all facilities. This work entails the performance of no fewer than 10,000 maintenance tasks and other checks. Inspections of the reactor vessel yielded findings that require further analysis by internal and external experts. The analyses are supervised by the Federal Agency for Nuclear Control (FANC/AFCN).

Nuclear power station Tihange 2

The overhaul of Tihange 2 started on 16 August 2012. As the reactor vessels of Tihange 2 and Doel 3 have been constructed by the same suppliers, the additional inspections carried out at Doel 3 were also implemented at Tihange 2. These inspections showed the same type of indications.

The shutdown of both reactors is maintained until more detailed analyses are in.

Conclusions and action plan

ENGIE Electrabel has carried out an in-depth investigation in response to the indications found in the reactor vessels of Doel 3 and Tihange 2. The results confirm the structural integrity of the reactors in question, justifying the immediate restart and safe operation of Doel 3 and Tihange 2. Begin December 2012, ENGIE Electrabel submitted its conclusions and action plan for restarting both units, to the FANC. It already submitted the technical dossier end November 2012. It is now up to the FANC to provide its advice to the Belgian government.

Additional information

In its January 15, 2013, statement, the FANC sees no elements that would have to lead to a permanent shutdown of the nuclear power plants. Before providing its final decision on the restart, the Agency has asked ENGIE Electrabel for additional information and tests. On February 4, ENGIE Electrabel submitted its action plan with a detailed planning of the tests asked by the Agency. On March 25, ENGIE Electrabel delivered to the FANC the results of additional tests and analyses for the vessel of Tihange 2. Regarding Doel 3, results will be given for late April.

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