Netherlands High Flux Reactor closes, to restart in August

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The High Flux Reactor in Petten, the Netherlands is expected to restart in the second half of August, as the first activities to repair the reactor’s cooling water pipework began today, according to the Nuclear Research and Consultancy Group (NRG) of the Netherlands.

Over the next six months repairwork on the reactor’s primary cooling water system will be carried out, NRG said. " For the repair, the part of the pipework concerned will be released by removing concrete, after which new pipework will be fitted by means of welding. After this, a corrosion-resistant layer will be applied to the pipework," the group said.

The plan for repairwork on the High Flux Reactor meets the safety requirements of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The IAEA safety review mission, which took place in January, reviewed the proposed repair method, the technical details, the results of the tests conducted, the protection of employees and the planning for the work, according to NRG.

The group decided to carry out local repairwork when a routine inspection in August 2008 revealed bubble jets in the primary cooling water system.

NRG added that it was holding "intensive discussions" with government bodies, associated isotope producers and customers to safeguard the availability of medical isotopes for healthcare and nuclear research for energy supply.