Deteriorations have been observed in the concrete of the Doel 4 and Tihange 2 nuclear reactors, the Federal Nuclear Control Agency, AFCN, stated on Wednesday. The plants have been inactive for some time. Their operators, Engie, had already noted impairments to the concrete at two other reactors, Doel 3 and Tihange 3. The damage had been detected in the bunkerised buildings attached to these reactors that host the second-level emergency systems. After repairs, the AFCN had given the green light for the resumption of Doel 3. Repair work is ongoing at Tihange 3, which is still not in operation.
The buildings of the Doel 4 and Tihange 2 reactors were also inspected during planned, maintenance-related, work stoppages. “The inspections enabled the detection of a degradation of the concrete in the ceiling of the bunker at both Doel 4 and Tihange 2,” the AFCN said in a press release.
Signs of ageing of the concrete at Tihange 2 had already been detected during preceding inspections and repair work had been planned before the inspections in August last.
Tests are being conducted at both Tihange 2 and Doel 4 to make the correct diagnosis before launching repair work. The resistance of the buildings concerned will have to be proved before the AFCN and its technical subsidiary Bel V can allow the two reactors to be restarted.