Doel nuclear reactor closed down one week after starting up again
Share article:
Share article:

Doel nuclear reactor closed down one week after starting up again

© Alexandre Jacquemain/Wikimedia
© Alexandre Jacquemain/Wikimedia

The reactor at the Doel 4 nuclear power plant in the village of Doel, part of the commune of of Beveren in East Flanders, was turned off under controlled conditions on Friday, operator Engie Electrabel said. The switch-off came less than a week after Doel 4 was turned back on again. The reason given was a blocked filter which crippled a pump in a non-nuclear section of the power station. The company is carrying out an investigation into how the incident took place, a spokesperson said.

The station has been out of commission throughout the summer, after damage was found in the concrete forming the roof of the bunker building of the reactor. According to Engie, the latest stoppage should last no more than 48 hours, and the reactor turned back on by Sunday.

As far as network manager Elia is concerned, the incident will have no effect on energy supplies in the short term. However the 1,000 megawatt output of Doel 4 is of crucial importance at the time of peak energy demand, in January and February, just to keep the lights on across the country.

Engie spokesperson Hellen Smeets played down the breakdown so soon after the reactor came back online. “The generator had been working for several days at full power, and so was exposed to high pressure and high temperatures, something which was not the case during the long closure,” she said. “So it’s not abnormal for problems to emerge soon after it started up again.”

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Experts call for more widespread use of masks as figures rise
As coronavirus figures continue to rise, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo has suggested that people return to wearing masks when indoors with ...
Belgium wants to recover €420 million in wrongfully paid out coronavirus aid
The Belgian State intends to recover €420 million of unduly paid Covid-19 aid, La Libre Belgique reported on Thursday. The electronic Council of ...
Why the fight for transgender rights is polarising Europe 
Year after year, Samuel De Schepper would ask Santa Claus to bring him a penis for Christmas. Born female and attending an all girl’s Catholic ...
New offshore wind farm officially opened
Despite being operational since the end of 2020, the SeaMade offshore wind farm was officially inaugurated on Wednesday by Prime Minister Alexander ...
Contact tracers have no time for calls, only texts, amid rising cases
Contract tracers will no longer make phone calls to the high-risk contacts of people who test positive for the coronavirus beginning from Wednesday, ...
Belgium holds on to top spot in FIFA rankings despite recent losses
Once again, Belgium's Red Devils have held onto their position at the top of the world football rankings, according to an update released by the ...
Proximus pushes for high-speed internet in Brussels and Wallonia
Fifteen municipalities in Wallonia should soon have access to high-speed internet through the rollout of fibre optics in the region, telecoms giant ...
Why Belgium is regulating sex work
After decades of confusing rules and hypocritical policy, Belgium is finally regulating sex work by removing prostitution from the criminal law. ...
World’s largest chocolate warehouse opens in Flanders
On Thursday, Barry Callebaut – the largest global chocolate processor and manufacturer – opened the world's largest chocolate warehouse in Lokeren, ...
Belgium in Brief: Equal Opportunity To Dance
There's a phrase where I'm from, more often said in jest nowadays, but it came to my mind this morning: "Ye dancin'?" (Are you dancing?), one ...
Farmer discovers cocaine in banana boxes bought in Brussels
A Flemish farmer who purchased boxes of bananas at the market in Brussels on Tuesday came home to discover large amounts of cocaine packed among the ...
Changes to speed cameras increase likelihood of a ticket
Changes to the way speed cameras work in Flanders and Wallonia will increase the likelihood of receiving a ticket when cars pass them above the ...