A nuclear reactor in Belgium has been taken offline less than a week after starting up again. A water leak on a generator outside of the plant’s nuclear area forced the shutdown. A spokesperson for the Belgian energy company, Electrabel, told news agencies that the Doel 3 reactor near Antwerp had been shut down so the water leak could be repaired. The leak poses no threat to public safety or the environment, the spokesperson said. The reactor had only this week been brought back online after a period of inactivity lasting over 18 months due to hairline fractures discovered in the reactor. A similar problem also shut down the Tihange 2 reactor, but both reactors have been deemed safe to operate. Th potential danger of the aging reactors is a cause for concern in neighbouring Germany. Protests this week occurred in the German border city of Aachen against Belgium’s use of nuclear power, which comes from seven plants and makes up about half of the country’s energy mix
A north Wales site has been put forward as the frontrunner to become the home of the first fleet of small modular nuclear reactors in the UK. The Snowdonia Enterprise Zone Advisory Board is now working with the Welsh Government to look at making the now decommissioned Trawsfynydd plant the home of the UK’s first SMRs. The government has outlined a commitment to kick starting the SMR market in the UK. George Osborne last month pledged £250m to support the development of the technology.
Russia is prepared to assist Saudi Arabia develop nuclear energy power plants to replace its dependence on fossil fuels, Arab News reports. Sergey Kiriyenko, director of the Russian nuclear regulatory body Rosatom, made the above statement when he met with Hashem Abdullah Yamani, president of King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy.