SCK•CEN takes another step in realizing MYRRHA

SCK•CEN has now assigned the contract for the technical design of an important component of MYRRHA. Following a selection procedure over two years, another important step was made in the realization of this new multifunctional research infrastructure. MYRRHA is an innovative research reactor driven by a particle accelerator, and will be the first of its kind worldwide.

The contract that has been assigned, the Front End Engineering Design (FEED), consists of the technical design of all elements of the infrastructure, with the exception of the reactor itself and the particle accelerator. More specifically, this includes the design of the buildings, the cooling systems and the instrumentation and control of the reactor and the particle accelerator.

“The design of the reactor itself has been carried out by our own team. But, of course, a reactor cannot work by itself. This FEED contract will cover everything that is not part of the SCK•CEN specialisations”, clarifies Hamid Aït Abderrahim, Director of the MYRRHA project.

All applications were thoroughly assessed during a selection procedure that took nearly two years. Because of the technological challenges involved – there is no infrastructure in existence that is comparable to MYRRHA – an initial selection was made on the basis of proven technological competence. Following the global assessment of the remaining candidates, the contract was awarded to an international consortium consisting of the French company AREVA TA, the Italian company Ansaldo Nucleare and Empresarios Agrupados from Spain. The Belgian company Grontmij will execute part of the tender as a subcontractor of AREVA TA.

“The selection was very strict, and we attached the greatest value to proven quality and credentials. We are fully confident that this consortium will bring the work to a successful conclusion”, confirms Hamid Aït Abderrahim.

The contract represents a value of 24 million euros. As soon as this study and design contract has been completed, this special project will be ready for construction, and the first contracts for the realisation of the various components of MYRRHA can be concluded. The first placing in service of MYRRHA is scheduled for 2024-2025.

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