Sunday, June 11, 2017

Belgium Nuclear Reactors Are Worse Than Previously Thought

>At least 70 additional cracks were uncovered at the Tihange 2 nuclear reactor during an ultrasonic inspection in April of this year, Belga news agency reports. Some 300 new flaws have also allegedly been discovered at the Doel 3 reactor tank during a check last November, according to


The cracks do not pose any danger to operations at the nuclear plants, says operator Engie-Electrabel.

[Germany's environment minister] Barbara Hendricks urged Belgium on Wednesday to take its Tihange 2 and Doel 3 reactors offline “until open safety questions are cleared up.” German officials have expressed concerns over the safety of the reactor pressure vessels.

Taking the reactors offline “would be a strong precautionary signal and would show that Belgium takes the concerns of its German neighbors seriously,” Hendricks said in a statement.

Deputy Environment Minister Jochen Flasbarth stressed that such a request has never before been made by Germany to a neighboring state.


Hendrick's request comes one week after the state of North Rhine-Westphalia said it would join a lawsuit filed by the Aachen city region against the Tihange 2 reactor, which is roughly 65km (40 miles) away from the west German city. Germany plans to turn off all of its own nuclear reactors by 2022.

The tanks in questions are both 33 years old.


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