Technology Reviews

The Fabulous Nuclear Odyssey of Belgium

[+] Author and Article Information
Luc H. Geraets

 GDF SUEZ Nuclear Activities, Brussels, Belgium B-1000

And of its predecessor Benelux, an economic and customs union, which grouped Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxemburg as early as 1946.

And so far the sole in Belgium; no other is currently scheduled.

After Italy (which has effectively shut down its plants in operation), Germany and Sweden.

Some failures have happened, the most famous being the disappearance in 1968 of 200 tons of uranium oxide, probably leaked to Israel (the “Plumbat” affair (4)).

Between 1965 and 1985.

For Doel-1 and -2 and Tihange-1, commissioned in 1975, ASME Sec. 3 Ed. 1968 has been used for vessels; the draft issued end 1968 has been used for pumps and valves; the ANSI B31.7 Ed. 1969, precursor of the ASME Code Sec. 3 Div. 1 sub. NB 3600 (where it was introduced in the 1974 edition), has been used for an ex post justification of class 1 piping systems.

Widely reprinted from Refs. 13-14.

Unresolved safety issue (USI) A-46 required seismic re-evaluation of the equipment in older operating plants to render plant seismic ruggedness comparable to newer plants in which the equipment was qualified to newer standards. EPRI instituted the Seismic Qualification Utility Group (SQUG) to resolve NRC unresolved safety issue A-46, “Seismic Qualification of Equipment in Older Nuclear Power Plants.” EPRI and the nuclear plant community successfully resolved the issue through development and implementation of an experience-based method that uses equipment performance data from power and industrial facilities that have undergone actual earthquakes. The SQUG/SEQUAL program continues to investigate earthquakes to add to the database, add new equipment classes, and develop and implement methods for experience-based seismic qualification of replacement equipment and parts. SQUG/SEQUAL also promotes the use of the experience-based methodology to its international members and to organizations beyond the nuclear community. The aim is to provide an innovative and cost-effective methodology for evaluating the seismic ruggedness of nuclear plant equipment without costly seismic shake table testing or analysis. Member engineers apply the SQUG methods to assess the seismic ruggedness of plant equipment; perform seismic evaluations of plant changes for heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) and piping; and qualify new and replacement equipment and parts. (From http://portfolio.epri.com/)

The Federal Agency for Nuclear Control (FANC) since 2001.

Now part(s) of GDF SUEZ.

From the Kingdom of Belgium (19).

In 2007, the FANC has created a subsidiary BelV, to whom the regulatory activities of AVN were transferred in 2008.

The initial duration of the agreement was 5 years; successive extensions kept it alive for almost 10 years.

Subject to an agreement to be concluded between Belgonucleaire and the SCK/CEN to transform the BR-3 into BR3/Vulcain.

By MMN, which was one of the partners in the Vulcain Syndicate.

By Westinghouse and Mitsubishi.

Framatome, ACEC, Cockerill.

ACEC, Cockerill, WENESE.

Precursor of the USNRC.

See, e.g., Ref. 23.

As early as in 1978, e.g., the Belgian municipalities of Andenne and Ohey (very close to Tihange) organized a referendum by which the inhabitants rejected the implementation of a nuclear power plant on the territory of those municipalities.

J. Pressure Vessel Technol 131(3), 034001 (Apr 06, 2009) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3106035 History: Received January 30, 2009; Revised February 04, 2009; Published April 06, 2009

This paper reviews the Belgian history of nuclear technology and its use for power generation, from the beginning in 1942 until now. It identifies the main players in the field, and the major milestones of this history, both from the power generation side and the nuclear fuel side. It demonstrates the genuine contribution of Belgium to this technology (typical examples are shown), and the significant role of its engineers and scientists.

Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Grahic Jump Location
Figure 1

Major Belgian nuclear sites

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 2

(a) Doel nuclear site, and (b) Tihange nuclear site

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 3

WANO—unit capability factor (%) from 1991 to 2007



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