Regulator wants more info before clearing Belgian reactors

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Belgian nuclear regulator said Tuesday it wanted more information before it could make a final decision on whether to restart two reactors, shut down last year after cracks were found in them.

The regulator, AFCN, said that it had received detailed reports on the Doel 3 and the Tihange 2 reactors from various experts and at this stage saw "no reason that they be shut down definitively."

At the same time, however, it wanted additional information from plant operator Electrabel "before it could recommend the eventual restart" of the two reactors.

"Once all the relevant information is to hand, then it will be able to determine that the margin of safety has been maintained," AFCN said in a statement.

Reports earlier this month said AFCN was preparing to approve restarting the two reactors.

AFCN said previously it would hand the government a report in mid-January.

Many "potential cracks" were found during inspections early last year at the base of the reactor vessel at Doel 3, near the northern city of Antwerp, which was closed in June, as well as at Tihange 2, near the southern city of Liege.

It was halted in August for investigation after the problems at Doel came to light.

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