The Radiochemical Analysis expert group (RCA) at SCK•CEN is a multidisciplinary laboratory dedicated to being a centre of excellence in radiochemistry and in the destructive chemical and radiochemical analysis of samples and materials originating from the nuclear fuel cycle and from nuclear research.
Over the years, our staff of 18 research scientists and analytical chemists have acquired valuable knowledge and gained much experience in the development and application of analysis services and technologies in the areas of:
The expert group consists of two units, Radiochemistry (RCH) and Instrumental Analysis (IAN).
Method development and validation are important tasks within both units. Several analytical procedures that are applied are accredited according to the international ISO 17025 standard.
The Radiochemical Analysis expert group (RCA) delivers services to external clients. More information can be found in the section 'Our Services - Radiochemical Analysis'.
There is a worldwide increasing interest for medical applications of radionuclides in (cancer) therapy. Nowadays, the production centres are not situated exclusively in the Western world. More and more developing countries start producing radionuclides for medical purposes.
We have the knowledge and the experience to create and guarantee additional excess values for our nuclear installations (BR1 & BR2 reactor). We focus on the research on the production and the quality control (radionuclide, radiochemical and chemical purity) of radioactive substances for cancer therapy.
In most cases, the radionuclide "as such" is not useful, neither for diagnostic nor for therapeutic applications. For that reason, the radionuclide must be attached to a carrier, a vehicle that once administered to the blood pool, is immediately captured by the tissue of interest (tumour). In vitro studies with radio-labelled molecules are planned to evaluate the chemical behaviour of the radiopharmaceutical. The results of these studies can play an important role in the promotion of some radionuclides and labelled molecules.
Nuclear medicine is a volatile world and topics are changing rapidly. The market depends on different parameters (production costs, repayment, efficiency therapy, other competing techniques) on which we have no impact. To increase the success of the "new" radionuclide in nuclear medicine, it is our aim to contribute to the development of these medicines by sharing our expertise and infrastructure with our partners via research and service contracts.