Explosion hits Doel Nuclear Power Station, Belgium

Explosion hits Doel Nuclear Power Station, Belgium

Doel Nuclear Power Station in northern Belgium was hit by an explosion around midnight UTC on November 1, 2015 (23:00 local time on October 31) which caused a fire in its Doel 1 nuclear reactor.

Els De Clerq, spokeswoman of Belgian energy corporation Electrabel that runs the plant, told Het Laatste Nieuws the explosion didn't cause any threat to the nature and added that no personnel was injured. 

"The exact damage from the incident is still unknown," Els De Clercq said.  

"There was no fuel present at the time of the incident as the reactor had been shut down due to its expired operational license. The fire was soon extinguished by plant's personel," De Clercq said as quoted by media.

The Doel Nuclear Power Station is one of the two nuclear power plants in Belgium. It is located in the most densely populated area of all nuclear power stations in Europe, with 9 million inhabitants within a 75 km (47 miles) radius.​

There was a major incident in the non-nuclear part of the plant in August 2014. The main turbine of Doel 4 nuclear reactor overheated when it suddenly found itself operating without fuel. It turned out that a secured valve, used in case of fire, was opened and 65 000 liters of oil flowed into an underground storage. 

Electrabel's French parent company GDF Suez confirmed the August 2014 event was a result of sabotage.

Featured image: Doel Nuclear Power Station, Belgium by Alexandre Jacquemin (CC) 

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