Minister-President of the German-speaking Community visits SCK•CEN

Karl-Heinz Lambertz, the Minister-President of the German-speaking Community of Belgium, paid a working visit to the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre today. The programme included a visit to the underground HADES lab and the BR2 research reactor. Karl-Heinz Lambertz underlined the importance of strengthening and improving nuclear research in Belgium.

The Belgian Nuclear Research Centre invited the German-speaking Minister-President to outline its research activities and future plans. Karl-Heinz Lambertz descended to the HADES laboratory where, at a depth of 225 metres, research is being conducted into the feasibility of storing radioactive waste in layers of clay. SCK•CEN and NIRAS, which are responsible for the management of the nuclear waste, have joined forces for this in the EURIDICE partnership.

Karl-Heinz Lambertz then paid a visit to reactor BR2, one of the most powerful research reactors in the world. SCK•CEN uses the BR2 reactor  for materials research and the production of medical radioisotopes for imaging and the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Silicon is also irradiated in BR2, thus forming a high-grade semiconductor for electronics in high-power applications, such as electric vehicles, wind turbines and solar energy systems.

At the end of the visit the Minister-President underlined the importance of research and innovation and the need for scientifically based information about nuclear technology.

“I am really impressed by the high degree of professionalism. We must improve and strengthen the know-how present in Belgium. In the future there will be many more applications of this technology, which will be of interest both to the field of energy and other fields. Thanks to the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre, we have high-performance research infrastructure to do this”, says Minister-President Lambertz.