70 New Cracks Discovered At Belgian Nuclear Reactors

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A new ultrasonic inspection has uncovered what has been called a substantial amount of micro cracks in the nuclear reactors at the Doel and Tihange power plants in Belgium. These cracks are said to have appeared since the last study was made three years ago, according to German and Belgian media.

70 Additional Cracks Found At Tihange 2 Nuclear Reactor

70 more cracks have been uncovered at the Tihange 2 nuclear reactor plant when an inspection was made ultrasonically in April of this year. According to a news report, 300 new flaws have been found in the Doel 3 reactor tank when it was checked in November.

Jan Jambon, the Belgian Interior Minister said that micro fissures had been found at Tihange 2 after a parliamentary inquiry that was posed by Green Group leader Jean-Marc Nollet. The new cracks that have been reported at Doel 3 have up to now not been confirmed.

Additional Cracks Found After Different Positioning Of Ultrasound Device

It was said that the cracks do not pose any danger to operations at the plants, this came from operator Engie-Electrabel, who had made inspections under direct instructions from the Belgian Atomic Regulatory Authority. The operator said that the flaws had been found by the different positioning of the ultrasound device. It was said that providing the cracks do not expand, they are not posing a danger to the operations of the reactor.

Engie-Electrabel was branded irresponsible as an environmentalist group; Nucleaire Stop had criticized the operator as they were still running the Tihange 2 reactor even though there had been an increase of 2.22% in faults. During February 2015 FANC said that there had been 3, 149 cracks found at Tihange, with 13, 047 cracks having been found at Doel. The operator will now have to submit more analyses of the situation and they have until September to do so.

Tihange is 60 kilometers from the border of Germany and Doel is 150 kilometers away, close to Antwerp. German people living close to the border have been putting pressure on the government to try to force Belgium to close down the old reactors.

Both the reactors have been experiencing cracks and leaks for quite some time. Doel 3 has 1,006 megawatts capacity and Tihange 2 has 1,008 megawatts capacity. The reactors are nearly 35 years old but they still manage to generate 14% of the power capacity of the nation.

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