Tihange Nuclear Power Station

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Tihange Nuclear Power Station
Huy, koeltorens 2007-05-01 14.57.JPG
Tihange Nuclear Power Station is located in Belgium
Tihange Nuclear Power Station
Location of Tihange Nuclear Power Station
Country Belgium
Location Huy
Coordinates 50°32′4.66″N 5°16′21.12″E / 50.5346278°N 5.2725333°E / 50.5346278; 5.2725333Coordinates: 50°32′4.66″N 5°16′21.12″E / 50.5346278°N 5.2725333°E / 50.5346278; 5.2725333
Construction began 1970
Commission date 1 October 1975
Owner(s) Electrabel
Nuclear power station
Reactor type pressurized water reactors
Reactor supplier ACLF, FRAMACEC,ACECOWEN
Power generation
Units operational 1 x 962 MW
1 x 1008 MW
1 x 1015 MW
Nameplate capacity 2,985
Annual generation 23 TWh

The Tihange Nuclear Power Station is one of the two large-scale nuclear power plants in Belgium, the other being Doel Nuclear Power Station. It is located on the right bank of the Meuse River in the Belgian district of Tihange, part of Huy municipality in the Walloon province of Liège. The primary stakeholder in the plant is the Belgian energy company Electrabel.

Reactors[edit]

The plant has three pressurized water reactors, with a total capacity of 2985 MWe and makes up 52% of the total Belgian nuclear generating capacity.[1] Its units are rated as follows:

  • Tihange 1: 962 MWe (1975)
  • Tihange 2: 1008 MWe (1983)
  • Tihange 3: 1015 MWe (1985)

The reactors were supplied by different consortia, respectively ACLF (ACECOWEN-Creusot-Loire-Framatome), FRAMACECO (Framatome-ACEC-Cockerill), ACECOWEN (ACEC-Cockerill-Westinghouse).[2]

The units were designed for an operational lifetime of 30 years. In 2003, a Belgian law concerning the closure of the Belgian nuclear reactors permitted an operational lifetime of 40 years for the three reactors in Tihange. On July 4, 2012, however, the Belgian government decided that Tihange 1 could be operated until 2025.

Incidents[edit]

On September 3, 2008 a malfunctioning fan was found in a reactor. This was classified as INES-1.[3] Also, in 2005 and 2002 there were two INES-2 incidents. And in 2001 and 1993 there were fires on the site of the nuclear power plant. Those were classified as level 0.[4]

Since 2006 there has been a leak of 0.5 up to 2 liters slightly radioactive water from a deactivation-bath.[5] After this was notified to the Belgium Federal Agency for Nuclear Control (FANC) Electrabel tried to find the cause of the leak. But on 11 July 2012 it became known, that the leakage still exists. According to FANC this issue is "under control" and no radioactivity leaks outside the buildings.[6]

September 1, 2012, it became known that the Tihange 2 reactor shows up to 0.3 m-depth signs of erosion weakening the outer reinforced concrete mantle. Electrabel and the Belgian nuclear regulator FANC deny any immediate security risk since the reactor was already shut down for maintenance. (Le Soir)

Anti-nuclear protests[edit]

On the 17th of September 2011 about 2000 people from Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany demonstrated in front of the nuclear power plant Tihange and demanded the closure of the reactors. The demonstration was organized by the transnational alliance Stop Tihange.[7][8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

  • Belgian, Dutch, German alliance against the NPP Tihange stop-tihange.org
  • Site Electrabel regarding the nuclear plants in Doel and Tihange Electrabel