The Federal Agency for Nuclear Control has decided to allow Doel 3 and Tihange 2 to be restarted. This decision has been made after Electrabel had submitted the initial version of its end reports (Safety Cases) on 17 July 2015. On 28 October, the final reports were handed over.
On the basis of all inspections, additional tests, over 1,500 material tests, and the detailed analysis, Electrabel has confirmed that the structural integrity of both reactors can be guaranteed in all conditions (with a normal operation or with an accident) and that all safety requirements have been met by a considerable margin. It is therefore justified to restart both reactors.
This conclusion is based on meticulously supported research, unique anywhere in the world, carried out by a multidisciplinary team with experts from Electrabel, Laborelec, and Tractebel Engineering. During the entire research phase, this multidisciplinary team has worked together with several external renowned national and international organisations, such as SCK•CEN.
SCK•CEN has carried out four irradiation campaigns of several test units in the BR2 research reactor. The indications which were encountered are ‘hydrogen inclusions’, which have arisen during the forging process of the reactor tank. And so, they’ve been present since the beginning. The hydrogen inclusions are quasi laminar and therefore parallel with the interior wall of the reactor. This means that they are not liable to mechanical tensions and do not adversely affect the structural integrity of the reactor vessel.
On the basis of all inspections, additional tests and material research, and detailed analyses, the FANC has decided to allow Doel 3 and Tihange 2 to be restarted..
Monitoring the safety of nuclear power plants
BR2 research reactor