September 20, 2018 / 11:40 AM / a month ago

Problems in concrete around two Belgian nuclear reactors- regulator

BRUSSELS, Sept 20 (Reuters) - Belgium’s nuclear power regulator has detected problems with the concrete around two of the country’s nuclear reactors, although it is not clear what impact repairs will have on their operations.

The regulator said that, during the planned stoppage of reactors Doel 3 and Tihange 3, operator Engie Electrabel had detected that degradation in the adjoining concrete bunkers.

This could have an impact on two other reactors, Doel 4 and Tihange 2, which are also currently not operating due to planned inspections. The regulator said an assessment was being made of the situation before beginning repairs.

Belgium has seven nuclear reactors, four at the Doel power station and three at Tihange, all operated by French utility Engie’s Belgian arm Engie Electrabel. Together they produce about half of the country’s electricity.

The regulator said it had given clearance for Doel 3 to restart, while Tihange 3 is still undergoing repairs.

Under the current plans Tihange 2 is due to restart in November, while Doel 4 is slated to restart in mid-December. (Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; editing by Francesco Guarascio)

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