Belgian Nuclear Reactor Shut

Belgian Nuclear Reactor Shut
Belgian Nuclear Reactor Shut

Electrabel, the Belgian arm of French group Engie, shut down the Doel 1 nuclear reactor in northern Belgium late on Saturday because of a problem with an alternator.

Engie's website said the 433-megawatt Doel 1 reactor had been stopped from about 6 p.m. local time on Saturday, adding that it was provisionally seen restarting at 11 p.m. on Sunday, Reuters reported.

An Electrabel spokeswoman said experts were at the site and that the restart time was the best estimate available.

"There is a problem with the alternator. It's in the non-nuclear part of the plant," she said.

The smaller and older Doel 1 and 2 reactors were to have been decommissioned this year, but the government and Engie agreed a 10-year extension at the start of December. Doel 1 was originally stopped for good in February, but restarted last month.

Electrabel has also shut the larger 1,006-megawatt Doel 3 reactor on Dec. 25 due to a water leak. It is seen resuming operations on Jan. 6. It operates seven Belgian nuclear reactors with a total capacity of some 6,000 megawatts, covering about 55% of electricity consumption in Belgium.