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Nuclear power plant shutdown: no threat to supplies

A fault in the non-nuclear equipment at Doel power plant forced a closedown in reactor 4 last night.  Other reactors at Doel were already idle.  The Doel power plant is at a complete standstill this morning, but this shouldn't pose any problem for electricity supplies.

It was shortly before 10 o'clock last night that the reactor shut down due to problems with power for the steam turbines.  The closedown is automatic at such times and posed no threat to the population the electricity company says.  The reactor was expected to restart tonight, but that has now been put off till Monday night. Energy company Engie insists the shutdown will be of short duration and that they are not experiencing difficulties supplying customers.

A spokeswoman insisted: "Safety is our first priority.  It is more important than commercial or other interests”.

Reactors 1 and 2 are out for planned maintenance.  Reactor 3 will restart in August.

The incident sparked green lawmaker Kristof Calvo to repeat his call for the closure of all Belgian nuclear power plants: "Old nuclear plants are not the solution, but the problem" he noted on Twitter.

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