Nuclear Power and Nuclear Safety

PRESS RELEASE: Start-up of the Halden Reactor Postponed

The Institute for Energy Technology (IFE) has postponed the planned start-up of the Halden Reactor during the week commencing 9 April. This is due to a fault that has been discovered in a valve.

Kjeller, 6 April 2018

The fault has posed no risk to health, safety or the environment. The reactor was in a planned maintenance outage when the fault was discovered during IFE’s own status inspection.

‘This valve isolates the reactor tank and is a key safety feature. We cannot operate the reactor unless it is working as it should. We are currently examining the valve, but past experience indicates that this will take several months to resolve,’ says Atle Valseth, Sector Director for IFE’s nuclear operations.

It is primarily the comprehensive safety assessments required prior to carrying out repairs that will take time. A comprehensive root cause analysis of the fault must be conducted before the reactor can be restarted. Additionally, there may be a wait of several months for spare parts and a new valve.

‘We are now focusing on gaining a full overview of what the fault consists of, and how it can be remedied - but any long-term stoppage will impact key projects, which is why we are informing customers,’ says Valseth.

The Halden Reactor will continue to be fully staffed. Work to investigate the cause of the valve fault will require significant resources. Furthermore, IFE has important tasks related to the management of Norwegian nuclear waste.

‘Safety always comes first at IFE. It requires us to maintain our current levels of personnel,’ says Valseth.



Director of IFEs nuclear operations, Atle Valseth, tel. +47 995 21 670

Communications Director Silje Aspholm Hole, tel. +47 930 22 096


IFE was founded by the Norwegian government in 1948 and is today an independent non-profit foundation. Its annual revenue amounts to approximately NOK 1 billion. R & D within renewable energy, security and radiopharmaceuticals makes up 2/3 of IFE’s activities. It has approximately 650 permanent employees. IFE is based in Kjeller and Halden.

IFE is an internationally oriented research foundation for energy, health, digitalisation and nuclear technology. The organisation’s main aim is to carry out research and development beneficial to society in the fields of renewable energy, digital systems, nuclear disarmament, and the development and production of nuclear medicines.

IFE's primary tasks are to:

  • Develop profitable, safe and eco-friendly technology in the fields of renewable energy, offshore technology and CO2 management.
  • Maintain and further develop the production and R & D, as well as inspection and distribution of radiopharmaceutical medicines in Norway and internationally.
  • Maintain and further develop national expertise in the field of reactor safety, radiation protection and nuclear technology based on the Halden and JEEP II reactors.
  • Conduct basic physics research based on the JEEP II reactor at Kjeller.
  • Manage the Halden Project, which is the OECD’s biggest and longest-running collaborative project in the field of reactor safety.