Doel and Tihange

In the summer of 2012, a number of findings were registered in the base material of the forged reactor pressure vessel in the Belgian nuclear power stations Doel-3 and Tihange-2.

The Belgian supervisory authority Federaal Agentschap voor Nucleaire Controle (FANC) conducted a detailed investigation and came to the conclusion in spring 2013 that continued operation of the two facilities is possible under certain conditions.

In March 2014 operator electrabel decided to temporarily shut down the two plants after a material test provided unexpected results.

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The Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate (ENSI) requires the Beznau nuclear power plant to provide proof that the reactor pressure vessel is safe. In an interview, Georg Schwarz, the Director of the Division for Nuclear Power Plants and Deputy Director of the ENSI, explains the importance of carrying out an ultrasonic examination.

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The Swiss nuclear power plants (NPP) Beznau and Gösgen are required to perform standardized safety reviews of the base materials in their reactor pressure vessels to check for possible manufacturing flaws. Through this requirement, the Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate ENSI is implementing a recommendation issued by the Western European Nuclear Regulators Association (WENRA).

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