Belgium has temporarily closed down one of its seven nuclear power plants due to ‘several anomalies’ pointed out by the nation’s atomic energy regulator, including possible cracks, in the tank containing the reactor’s core.

Nuclear watchdog AFCN said the plant will remain closed until end of August though the suspected fractures at the Doel 3 reactor, 25km north of Antwerp, do not pose any health and safety threat.

The steel tank, produced by Dutch firm Rotterdam Drydocks, has been damaged by radiation, which created fractures inside it, according a preliminary analysis.

AFCN spokesperson Karina De Beule told The Financial Times that the regulator had been in touch with its counterparts across the world, but had been unable to determine how many reactors abroad use similar tanks to the one at Doel.

"We are talking with all regulators as we would in any emergency situation … it is essential to co-ordinate efforts," De Beule added.

"At present we can guarantee that there are no risks to workers, citizens and the environment."

The Doel 3 station, operated by France’s GDF Suez subsidiary Electrabel, is scheduled to be decommissioned in 2022.

Belgium, which now relies on nuclear power for about 50% of its energy needs, plans to close down all its atomic power stations by 2025, according to the news paper.