Unplanned Events

Belgium’s Tihange-2 To Restart After Checks Show No Further RPV Flaws

By David Dalton
8 May 2017

Belgium’s Tihange-2 To Restart After Checks Show No Further RPV Flaws
The Tihange nuclear power station in Belgium.

8 May (NucNet): Analysis of ultrasonic inspections has shown that the size of hydrogen flakes in the walls of the Tihange-2 reactor pressure vessel (RPV) has not changed and no new flakes have been found, Belgium’s Federal Agency for Nuclear Control (Fanc) said on 5 May 2017.

In November 2015 Fanc authorised operator Electrabel to restart Tihange-2, a 1,008-MW pressurised water reactor, but said it would monitor the evolution of the hydrogen flakes during a subsequent planned outage.

Ultrasonic inspections showed there had been “no evolution” of the hydrogen flakes and no indications of new flaking, Fanc said.

According to Fanc, Tihange-2 is expected to restart in the next few days.

A similar ultrasonic inspection was carried out at the 1,006-MW Doel-3 PWR during a planned outage in November 2016.

That inspection also found there had been no change and the reactor returned to service in December 2016.

Tihange-2 and Doel-3 were shut down in 2012 after the RPV flaws were discovered. In June 2013 the units were restarted, but were shut down again in March 2014 after unexpected results from additional tests.

There are seven reactor units in commercial operation in Belgium, four at Doel and three at Tihange. Together, they generate about 55% of the country’s electricity.

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