Signs of cracks found at second Belgian nuclear plant
BRUSSELS (AFP) - There are signs of cracks in a reactor vessel at a second nuclear plant in Belgium, with the problems similar to those identified at another site, power generator Electrabel said on Thursday.
"First results from the investigation (at Tihange 2) show signs similar to those found at Doel 3," said the company, a unit of French giant GDF Suez.
Signs of "thousands of potential cracks" were found during inspections earlier this year of the base of the reactor vessel at Doel 3, near the northern city of Antwerp and which has been closed since June. Tihange 2, near the southern city of Liege and using the same reactor vessel as Doel 3, was halted in August for investigation after the problems at Doel came to light.
"The investigation at Tihange 2 will continue and it will take several more weeks before we get definite answers. Tihange will remain halted in the meantime," a company spokesman said. The reactor vessels, housing the nuclear core, were built in the 1970s by the Dutch firm Rotterdamsche Droogdok Maatschappij (RDM), which has since ceased business.