Belgium halted nuclear reactor after hydrogen leak

Belgium’s nuclear watchdog organization AFCN said Thursday that a reactor at one of the country’s two nuclear power plants was shut down Thursday night after a hydrogen leak began.

“The Doel 2 reactor was manually shut down on the night of July 14 to July 15… after Engie Electrabel employees noticed a rapid increase in hydrogen consumption by the generator, indicating a leak,” the statement said.

One of Doel’s two reactors was preventively shut down to reduce possible risks, the regulator said. The cause of the leak is unknown, and the reactor will not be restarted until it is found.

The Belgian unit of French energy giant Engie said it had also stepped up surveillance at Begium’s second nuclear power plant in Tihang on the Meuse River after it went out of its banks.

“The risk of flooding around the Tihange nuclear power plant remains under control, and there is no immediate danger to the nuclear power plant. Operator Engie Electrabel has preemptively increased its level of vigilance,” AFCN tweeted.

Record rainfall collapsed several homes in Belgium and caused catastrophic flooding in neighboring Germany, killing at least 60 people in Germany and more than 11 in Belgium and leaving 1,300 people missing.

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