2017 was a special year filled with new scientific challenges, where nuclear medicine initiatives and nuclear applications were cornerstones of our success. Our research puts the emphasis on social relevance. Therefore, we develop sustainable technologies for the society of today and tomorrow. We firmly believe that we will achieve our goals together by continuing to perform pioneering research.
Passing on our experience and expertise to future generations is one of the essential missions of our research center. The SCK•CEN Academy for Nuclear Science and Technology supervises young scientific researchers, organizes academic courses and offers tailor-made training for professionals.
The SCK•CEN has continually grown to include medicine and health in general. In addition to the production of different types of medical radioisotopes for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, our research center makes every effort to improve the protection of man and environment against ionizing radiation. Our researchers try to minimize the dose of irradiation received by patients and staff during a medical examination, while guaranteeing the quality of health care.
Relaunched in July 2016 after a major modernization operation, the Belgian Reactor 2 (BR2) is ready to ensure its technological role for at least ten more years. The mission of this unique research reactor is to ensure the nuclear safety of power plants and to answer to the growing global demand for medical radioisotopes, essential for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. At its launch in 1961, BR2 was a world premiere; thanks to this renovation, it retains its status as an international research infrastructure.
Project MYRRHA, The heart of innovation in our research center, is currently under development at SCK•CEN. This multi-purpose irradiation facility will be the world's first prototype of a nuclear reactor driven by a particle accelerator. In particular, it will enable the development of new technologies and sustainable applications. With MYRRHA, Belgium will be able to perpetuate, for another 50 years, its pioneering tradition in the field of peaceful nuclear applications.
SCK•CEN supports astronauts by observing and investigating the extreme conditions outside the atmosphere. Our research centre contributes to research on the health of astronauts and their living environment. In December a small bioreactor was sent to the International Space Station for our Artemiss flight experiment.