Nuclear reactor shut down manually in Belgium following possible hydrogen leak – watchdog – RT World News


Belgium’s Doel 2 nuclear reactor was manually shut down overnight Wednesday after its operator suspected a hydrogen leak in the generator, the country’s nuclear watchdog AFCN / FANK said.

Employees of Engie Electrabel – a local nuclear power plant operator and a subsidiary of French energy giant Engie – noticed unusually high hydrogen consumption in the power plant’s reactor, AFCN / FANK said in a report. communicated. declaration Thursday. The development indicated a potential leak.

The operator and the nuclear watchdog decided to shut down the reactor preventively to “Immediately and drastically reduce the possible risks”. On Thursday, AFCN / FANK said the situation was “under control,” but added that the cause of the leak is still under investigation.

Hydrogen is used to cool the power plant generator and the operator has to take action “very quickly” in the event of a malfunction to mitigate the risk, the nuclear watchdog said, adding that the reactor cannot be restarted until the problem is resolved.

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Doel 2 is one of the seven nuclear reactors in Belgium, and one of the smallest: its maximum capacity is 445 megawatts. Previously, the reactor had been temporarily shut down, in April 2018, after the discovery of leaks in the cooling circuit of another reactor at the Doel nuclear power plant site.

The Doel 2 reactor was authorized to restart on February 4, 2019 after “preventive” the work was finished. AFCN / FANK has approved the restart since “All questions … concerning Doel 2 have been clarified” at the moment.

Belgian nuclear reactors together produce around half of the country’s electricity. On Thursday, Engie Electrabel also put on alert another of its nuclear power plants – in Tihange – as a preventive measure, due to the potential risk of flooding after the record rainfall which has already led to deadly flooding in neighboring Germany. There is “no immediate danger” at the central, the operator said in a Twitter Publish, But.

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