Belgium’s Federal Agency for Nuclear Control (Fanc) said a specialist company will be brought in to carry out repairs to a circuit breaker before unit 3 at the Doel nuclear plant can be restarted.

Fanc said the 1006MWe pressurised water reactor was shut down manually on 25 December after the discovery of a leak in a steam generator water supply circuit. A repair was carried out, but another problem was found with a breaker that connects the generator to the high-voltage grid. Doel 3, operated by Electrabel, was restarted in 22 December following a shutdown that began in March 2014 after unexpected results from tests carried out on the structural integrity of its reactor pressure vessel.

Doel 1, Belgium’s oldest reactor, was restarted on 4 January after closing down two days before after a generator problem triggered a shutdown, just three days after returning to service from a long outage, amid concern in neighbouring countries over its nuclear safety. Doel 1 had been shuttered in February after four decades in operation, in line Belgium’s nuclear phase-out law. It was restarted on 30 December under a deal to extend its working life, along with that of Doel 2, until 2025 in face of power shortages.