Press statement by the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission [temporary closure of HFR reactor in Petten]

February 5, 2002

Brussels, 4 February 2002

The JRC is convinced that the safe operation of the HFR reactor in Petten, The Netherlands, is not compromised. Nevertheless, further improvements to the safety culture at the HFR are desirable and possible. The JRC recommends that the reactor should be shut down to permit re-measurement of a known crack (in fact an internal welding anomaly) which has existed since the installation of the reactor vessel in 1984. This shutdown should take place as soon as possible. It would appear that the earliest reasonable date for the shutdown is by the end of this week. Subject to the views of KFD (Division of Dutch Ministry of Environment who are the licensing authority), the reactor will therefore be shut by then. In addition to the measurement, the shutdown period will be used to accelerate the implementation of the training and other measures to enhance the safety culture.

Note: JRC is the licence holder and the operator of the reactor is NRG.

DN: MEMO/02/17 Date: 04/02/2002

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