Belgian nuclear power plant tampered with

A Belgian nuclear plant is likely to be closed for the rest of the year after it was deliberately tampered with. One of the four reactors at Doel power station […]

By Vicky Ellis

A Belgian nuclear plant is likely to be closed for the rest of the year after it was deliberately tampered with.

One of the four reactors at Doel power station shut down automatically on 5 August after “significant damage” was inflicted on a high-pressure steam turbine (not the nuclear part of the plant).

Authorities blamed “voluntary manual intervention”.

Electrabel said it immediately launched a thorough investigation into how the turbine was opened, leading to an oil leak affecting the unit’s operation.

Initially it was thought the unit could be back at work by 18 August 2014.

Belgium’s regulator, the Federal Agency for Nuclear Control (FANC) said the incident had no impact on the safety of the workers, the public, or the environment.

Belgium’s two power plants, Doel and Tihange, have seven reactors which make up 40.3 terrawatt-hours (TWh), roughly half the country’s electricity generation in 2012 (78.6TWh).

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