“Concrete degradation of nuclear power stations was underestimated”

“Concrete degradation of nuclear power stations was underestimated”
The areas of the nuclear power stations affected by issues of concrete degradation relate to the time-redundant safety systems.

The CEO of the Federal Agency for Nuclear Control (the “AFCN”), Frank Hardeman, said on Tuesday that he believed the concrete degradation in non-nuclear areas of two nuclear power stations had been underestimated. Mr Hardeman, questioned by the Parliamentary Subcommittee on Nuclear Safety, indicated, “For a long time, we believed that concrete degradation had no impact on the structure of the buildings.” For this reason, any maintenance was initially of a “superficial” degree.

The areas of the nuclear power stations affected by problems of concrete degradation relate to the time-redundant safety systems. However, they must function to guarantee the power station continues to operate in the event of, for example, aeroplane crashes.

The Doel 3 plant was affected but it has become operational after the repair of the concrete affected by humidity, whilst Doel 4, Tihange 2 and Tihange 3 are at a standstill, owing to both planned overhaul and repair of their concrete elements.

The leader of the AFCN adds that the issue is now being treated in a “proactive” way by the operator of the power station (Engie-Electrabel).


The Brussels Times


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