Fire shuts down Belgian nuclear reactor

AAP
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Fire shuts down Belgian nuclear reactor

A Belgian nuclear reactor has been shut down after a fire broke out at the power plant near Liege.

A Belgian nuclear reactor has shut down after a fire broke out at the plant in the east of the country, the Belga news agency reported.

The incident on Sunday could put a further strain on Belgium's electricity grid, after warnings in August that outages at other nuclear plants could lead to power cuts in the approaching winter.

The Tihange 3 power station, situated 70 kilometres south-west of the German town of Aachen, shut down automatically after one of its transformers reportedly caught fire. The fire, which has since been extinguished, was caused by an explosion, Sudpresse newspaper group reported on its website.

It was unclear Sunday how long the 1,048-megawatt reactor will remain out of service.

Tihange 3 is now the fourth Belgian nuclear reactor to be out of service, as another plant at Tihange and two at Doel have been shut down due to defects or security concerns.

The Tihange 1 reactor was not affected by Sunday's incident, however.

Belgium has adopted a nuclear phaseout plan that foresees the complete abandonment of nuclear energy by 2025.