“Alert at a dozen nuclear reactors”, headlines La Tribune. The business daily explains that tests will have to be carried out at a number of European reactors, in the wake of the discovery of “suspected cracks” in the core tank of the No. 3 reactor at Belgium’s Doel power station.

La Tribune points out that, according to the Belgian nuclear safety agency –

… the Rotterdam Drydock Company [the manufacturer of the defective tanks], which is no longer in business, supplied 20 tanks of this type to several countries, in addition to the two tanks that were installed in Belgian reactors at Doel 3 and Tihange 2. The countries that took the tanks included Germany (in two reactors), Spain (2), the Netherlands (2), Sweden (1) and Switzerland (2).

With regard to the situation in Belgium, Le Monde explains that the nature of the faults in the tank “will have to be determined by additional tests” that will require “months of work”. As a result, Doel 3 will be suspended, as will Tihange 2, close to Liège, which has similar equipment installed.

According to Le Monde, in the event of –

… a permanent halt [of Doel 3 and Thiange 2], the country, which depends on nuclear power for 51% of its electricity, will be in difficulty.

A permanent halt could also seriously disrupt the Belgian government's plan to phase out nuclear power between 2016 and 2025.