Cracks in nuclear reactors prompt call for worldwide inspections
Jan 2015 - Responding, Greenpeace Belgium energy campaigner Eloi Glorieux, said, �What we are seeing in Belgium is potentially devastating for nuclear reactors globally due to the increased risk of a catastrophic failure. Nuclear regulators worldwide must require reactor inspections as soon as possible, and no later than the next scheduled maintenance shutdown. If damage is discovered, the reactors must remain shut down until and unless safety and pressure vessel integrity can be guaranteed. The nuclear industry, already in crisis, is faced with an aging nuclear reactor fleet at increasing risk of severe disaster.�
In reaction to the findings, the director-general of the Belgian nuclear regulator of the Federal Agency for Nuclear Control has said that this could be a problem for the entire nuclear industry globally. He added that the solution is to begin the careful inspection of 430 nuclear power plants worldwide.
Problems were initially discovered in the summer of 2012 and both the Doel 3 and Tihange 2 reactors have been shut down since March 2014, after additional tests revealed advanced embrittlement of the steel of the test sample. The integrity of the pressure vessel must be absolute due to the radioactive releases that would result if this component were to fail.Cracks in nuclear reactors prompt call for worldwide inspections | Environment | Wisconsin Gazette - Smart, independent and revealing. News, opinion and entertainment coverage