Belgium’s federal agency of nuclear control, ACFN, has halted one of its seven nuclear reactors until the end of the month after fears that one of the components had cracked.
“We have found anomalies,” said Karina De Beule, spokesman for the ACFN, adding that the agency is “evaluating these anomalies, if they can cause cracks.”
The 1006 MW Doel 3 reactor, which provides one-sixth of Belgium’s nuclear-generated electricity, has for now been classified as a level 1 threat and will remain shut at least until the end of August.
Ms. De Beule said that several scenarios are possible, between two extremes: The anomalies might end up being nothing important or more thorough analysis might find out that they threaten the integrity of the reactor.
The news comes as the European Union’s executive body is working on a final report about the safety of Europe’s nuclear plants, after a year of stress tests.
GDF Suez SA (Euronext: GSZ), the French energy giant that operates Belgian nuclear plants through its unit Electrabel, confirmed that the reactor will remain closed.
The plant is scheduled to be decommissioned in 2022.
For more nuclear power news