Evening Lecture – Reactor Pressure Vessel Issue of Doel 3 and Tihange 2: The Way to Tackle this Unprecedent Challenge
In the summer of 2012, inspections of the reactor vessels of Doel 3 and Tihange 2 nuclear power stations revealed the presence of indications that required in-depth analyses.
Electrabel carried out a thorough investigation in response to the indications found in the two reactor vessels. These investigations confirmed that the indications correspond to hydrogen flakes formed during manufacturing. The results of the subsequent tests and analyses confirmed the structural integrity of the reactor vessels in question, justifying the immediate restart and safe operation of Doel 3 and Tihange 2.
In May 2013, the Federal Agency for Nuclear Control (FANC) approved the restart of Doel 3 and Tihange 2. However, at the occasion of the restart of the reactors, it was agreed with FANC to carry out additional tests in order to confirm the behavior of the reactor vessel materials under irradiation. Among all the realized tests, one of them did not deliver results in line with experts’ expectations.
As a safety measure, Electrabel decided to shut down the reactors waiting for additional results from the new test program. Due to its importance and its complexity, this program of mechanical tests and metallurgical assessments ran until the autumn of 2014. In the context of the review process, FANC supported by an expert panel formulated additional recommendations: answer to these recommendations comes now to its end.
Jean Van VyveProject Director at GDF Suez
Jean Van Vyve has worked for almost 40 years for GDF SUEZ in the nuclear field.
He started his career in 1975 as design engineer at Tractebel Engineering, for the construction and commissioning of Doel 3 and Doel 4 NPP. He later occupied several positions in different disciplines: Mechanical Engineering, Structural Integrity, Fuel and Core Management, Project Management, culminating as Nuclear Engineering Manager.
He joined Electrabel in 2007 to become Chief Nuclear Officer in charge of the nuclear fleet. In 2010, he took the position of Manager Nuclear Design and Projects, to steer key projects for Electrabel: LTO of Tihange 1 and Doel 1 & 2, Stress Tests as a consequence of the Fukushima accident, PSR, Strategic Assets Management.
Since 2012 he is Project Director of the GDF SUEZ integrated team in charge of resolving the RPV issue of Doel 3 and Tihange 2.
Jean will present the roadmap developed to solve this unprecedented issue: it combines research, testing and analytical work in various disciplines in order to build a sound, robust and convincing Safety Case.