Doel Nuclear Power Station
|Doel Nuclear Power Station|
|Commission date||15 February 1975|
|Nuclear power station|
|Reactor type||pressurized water reactors|
|Reactor supplier||ACECOWEN, FRAMACECO|
|Units operational||2 x 433 MW
1 x 1006 MW
1 x 1047 MW
The Doel Nuclear Power Station is one of the two nuclear power plants in Belgium. The plant is located on the bank of the Scheldt, near the village of Doel in the Flemish province of East Flanders. The Belgian energy corporation Electrabel is the plant's largest stakeholder. The plant employs 800 workers and covers an area of 80 hectares (200 acres).
The station is located in the most densely populated area of all nuclear power stations in Europe, with 9 million inhabitants within a radius of 75 kilometres (47 mi).
The plant consists of four second-generation pressurized water reactors with a total capacity of 2,919 MWe, making it the second largest nuclear power plant in Belgium, after Nuclear Plant Tihange. Its four units are rated as follows:
- Doel 1 : 433 MWe
- Doel 2 : 433 MWe
- Doel 3 : 1006 MWe
- Doel 4 : 1047 MWe
Doel 1 and 2 came online in 1975, while Doel 3 and 4 came online in 1982 and 1985, respectively.
Doel 1, 2 and 4 reactors are based on designs by Westinghouse and where supplied by ACECOWEN a consortium between ACEC, Cockerill and Westinghouse. The Doel 3 reactor is based on a design by Framatome and was supplied by the FRAMACECO consortium (Framatome-ACEC-Cockerill).
Doel 1 and 2 are scheduled to be taken out of service by 2015.
With a height of 176 meters, the two cooling towers are the most visible structure in the Port of Antwerp. Due to its proximity to the Dutch-Belgian border, the towers and the accompanying vapor can be seen in large parts of Dutch provinces of Zeeland and western North Brabant. Since 1995, one of the cooling towers has hosted a nest of peregrine falcons.
2012 Doel 3 inspection
Doel 3 was shut down at the beginning of June 2012 for a planned inspection. The ultrasonic inspection revealed that there were thousands of semi laminar flaws in the reactor vessel's steel rings forged by Rotterdam Drydocks. These were determined to be hydrogen flakes, which influence steel brittleness and vessel pressure. The reactor remained offline for further inspections and assessment for a year. Eventually the nuclear regulator judged that the reactor could still operate safely and it was restarted June 3, 2013. The restart, however, was linked to an action plan concerning further investigations of the material properties of the reactor vessle.. At the end of March 2014 the test results reveiled a different outcome compared to what was anticipated by experts. At the moment no proper clarification for this outcome has been found. Therefore, the operator (GDF Suez) decided to stop the affected power plant until a clarification can be found and further operation of the powerplant is declared safe.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Nuclear power plant, Doel.|
- Kerncentrale Doel in dichtstbevolkte gebied, deredactie.be
- "Nuclear Power in Belgium". April 2012. Retrieved 24 June 2012.
- "Nuclear Power Reactors in the World". IAEA. 2007.
- Doel-3 in Belgium reports possible pressure vessel flaw, ANS Nuclear Cafe
- Doel 3 investigates potential cracks, Nuclear Engineering International
- Incident at Doel nuclear power station, Belgian Federal Agency for Nuclear Control
- Doel 3: Safety Authorities Meet in Brussels, Belgian Federal Agency for Nuclear Control