Belgium’s fracture-ridden reactor closed until end of 2012

The 1006 MW Doel 3 nuclear reactor operated by GDF Suez unit Electrabel will remain closed until the end of the year, the government has announced.

The reactor was initially shut after suspected cracks in the core tank, and following questioning by cabinet members of the nuclear control agency chief on Monday it’s been decided that testing will be carried out.
Belgium's Doel 3 nuclear power plant
The government has reinforced its earlier message that there are no threats to public safety.

The 1008 MW Tihange 2 reactor in the south of the country is also due to be closed for inspection in September and inspections are scheduled at Belgium’s other five reactors in 2013.

Belgium has long considered a complete exit from nuclear energy, but that will depend on its having enough alternative sources of energy in place.

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