28 Feb (NucNet): Belgium’s nuclear regulator has approved the restart of the Doel-1 nuclear reactor unit following repairs to a leak in an emergency cooling water circuit.
The Federal Agency for Nuclear Control (Fanc) said the leak was discovered in April 2018 in a pipe which was part of a backup cooling water circuit. The unit was immediately shut down and planned maintenance advanced so work could begin to fix the problem.
Plant owner and operator Engie Electrabel has carried out repairs, but Fanc has asked the company to monitor the pipes and carry out follow-up inspections.
Analysis by external laboratories showed that the leak was due to metal fatigue.
Doel-2, an identical unit, was also shut down for checks, but metal fatigue was less significant and the unit was restarted in January following repairs.
Both Doel units are 433-MW pressurised water reactor units. Doel-1 began commercial operation in February 1975 and Doel-2 in December 1975.