Ricardo Smit

Doel 1 reactor back in service after 10 months

After more than 10 months out of action the Doel 1 nuclear reactor in East Flanders was started up again on Monday evening. The news that Doel 1 is being tested with a view to it reentering full service in the coming days has been confirmed by the energy production and supply company Engie Electrabel that owns and operates the reactor. 

This means that six of Belgium’s seven nuclear reactors are now back in service.

Doel 1 had been out of service since the end of April 2018. At the end of February the nuclear watchdog FANC gave the all clear for it to reenter service. Before it can start producing electricity again a number of test are carried out. These take a few days.

Once Doel 1 is back in full service, 6 of Belgium’s 7 reactors will be operational. This is in stark contrast to the situation in October of last year when just one reactor was producing electricity. Then there were concerns that the problems with the reactors could have led to energy supply issues during the winter months. However, increasing the amount of electricity imported from abroad as well as increasing the capacity of gas-fired power stations meant that this was averted.    

Gradually the lion’s share of the reactors have re-entered service with only the Tihange 2 reactor, near Liège remaining out of action.