(Recasts with new first paragraph, headline, sends to more
* Swedish regulator also to attend
* Full attendance list not available
BRUSSELS, Aug 14 Nuclear regulators from across
Europe will examine cracks at a Belgian nuclear plant on
Thursday to help establish what further action may be needed in
reactors constructed by the same company - now defunct - in
Belgian nuclear watchdog FANC said it would hold the meeting
to share information about the suspected cracks found in the
core tank of Belgian reactor Doel 3.
The regulator said last week it had halted production at the
1,006 megawatt reactor - like all of Belgium's nuclear power
stations operated by GDF Suez unit Electrabel - until
at least the end of August to carry out further tests.
The core tank at the 30-year-old Doel 3 was built by Dutch
company Rotterdamsche Droogdok Maatschappij. It also constructed
the tank at Belgian reactor Tihange 2 and reactors in other
countries, including Sweden.
"Regulators will be able to see the failure indications we
have encountered on the reactor tank of Doel 3," the regulator
said in a statement.
Because of high levels of radiation, replacing the core tank
is difficult and has never been done anywhere.
Spurred by the disaster at Japan's Fukushima plant after an
earthquake and subsequent tsunami last year, Germany has pledged
to abandon nuclear power generation completely by 2022 in favour
of other renewable power sources.
But the strong expansion of nuclear power as a carbon-free
energy source is expected to continue, helped by more than 100
percent expansions over the next two decades in Asia.
FANC said it did not yet have a final list of which national
regulators would attend Thursday's meeting.
Sweden's nuclear safety authority said that it would attend
as the tank at its Ringhals 2 reactor was also built by
Rotterdamsche Droogdok, which no longer exists as a company.
"We still don't know what was found in the Belgian reactor,"
Gosta Larsen, a spokesman for the Ringhals nuclear power plant,
"But we are going to take a closer look at the reactor's
vessel when the maintenance starts."
Larsen said there were no plans at this stage to shut down
the reactor before scheduled maintenance started on Sept. 15.
(Reporting By Robert-Jan Bartunek in Brussels, Nerijus
Adomaitis in Oslo; editing by Patrick Graham)