Doel 4 restart approaches

05 December 2014

Workers are nearing completion of repairs to the turbine of unit 4 of Belgium's Doel nuclear power plant, which has been offline since early August when the turbine suffered a loss of lubricant.

Plant owner and operator Electrabel said on 3 December that its workers had begun the final phase of the process "to technically enable the restart" of the unit, which is scheduled by 31 December.

One of Doel 4's two low-pressure turbines arrived by boat at the port of Antwerp on 1 December following repairs at Siemen's Mulheim facility in Germany, Electrabel said. The turbine was then transported by road to the Doel plant.

The company said that workers will now start reassembling the turbine - the largest in Belgium - and performing alignment checks.

Some 6000 professionals from 15 companies - including Electrabel, its parent company GDF Suez, Alstom and Siemens - have participated in the repair of the turbine, Electrabel said. These repairs have taken a total of 150,000 working hours, it added.

The repair of the unit's high-pressure turbine, which Electrabel said suffered "significant damage," involved the manufacture of 2500 blades at four plants in China, Croatia, Italy and Switzerland.

Doel 4 shut down automatically on 5 August following the loss of oil in its steam turbine. Initial inspections found that the lubricant had been discharged through a valve which had probably been left open by a worker.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News