The nuclear power regulator in Belgium, the Federal Agency for Nuclear Control, has authorized the restart of Doel Unit 2, which is now scheduled for grid connection on February 4, plant operator Engie Electrabel said.
Both Doel Unit 1 and 2 were shut down after degredation was found in water cooling system piping. Doel 1 closed down in April 2018 with pipeline degradation that prompted an inspection of Doel Unit 2. The degradation of Unit 2 was less advanced than Unit 1, according to the World Nuclear Association.
Both units are 433 MWe pressurized water reactors. Unit 2 will undergo testing before being brought to full power, Electrabel said. Unit 1, meanwhile, is still undergoing repairs and is expected to restart in early March.
Electrabel is expected to invest $800 million in life-extending projects for the two reactors. For now, “all questions and comments concerning Doel-2 have been clarified,” Electrabel said. The company had been tasked with finding the cause of the corrosion, which was attributed to “material fatigue.”
Electrabel also noted that Doel 2 would allow Belgium to reach a net capacity of 4400 MWe of nuclear power capacity.
At the country’s second nuclear power plant, Tihange Units 2 and 3 remain off line after scheduled outages were extended to address concrete wear in a non-nuclear campus building. Those reactors are expected to restart on June 1 and March 2, respectively, with Tinhange 3 restarting first.
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