Nuclear reactor in Belgium shut down due to suspicion of cracked component
Doel 3 nuclear reactor at Doel Nuclear Power Station in Belgium was shut down on August 8, 2012 under the suspicion that one of its components might be cracked. “We have found anomalies,” said Karina De Beule, spokesman for the ACFN, the federal agency for nuclear control.
The station is located in the most densely populated area of all nuclear power stations in Europe, with 9 million inhabitants within a radius of 75 kilometres (47 miles). Construction of this plant started in 1969 and commission started in 1975.
The agency is “evaluating these anomalies, if they can cause cracks,” De Beule said, adding that the 1,006-megawatt Doel 3 reactor will remain shut at least until the end of August. 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 the final version of a report about the safety of Europe’s nuclear plants. . . . (more)
Here is the location (zoomable map)
UPDATE, Aug. 10
A bunch of US nuke plants may have the same flaw.
SEE UPDATE Aug. 17 Post