Research infrastructure

Nuclear and non-nuclear laboratories

Laboratory for high and medium level activity

SCK•CEN incorporates various nuclear and non-nuclear laboratories. The laboratory for high and medium level activity (LHMA) focuses on the effects of radioactive radiation on materials, for example the ageing processes in the pressure vessels of nuclear reactors or the effects of uranium fission in the reactor fuel. The laboratory has all the necessary infrastructure to handle highly radioactive substances safely, such as hot cells with mechanical robot arms.
This lab contributes to the safety of existing nuclear reactors, to improving the efficiency of nuclear fuel and to the development of materials for new reactor types. We monitor how the constituent parts of current and future reactors – for example the metal reactor vessel – behave in the long term in a radiation environment. The study of defective or intact fuel pins from reactors around the world is also one of the possibilities of this laboratory.

The results from the LHMA are essential to correctly predict the life span of nuclear power plants around the world and to allow their safe and efficient operation.

Other laboratories

SCK•CEN also has a number of other nuclear and non-nuclear laboratories specialising in measuring low radioactivity or radiation protection. Studies in the area of radiobiology, microbiology, radio-ecology, space travel, radiochemistry and dosimetry are conducted in our own specialised laboratories.

Measurements and analyses

Radiobiology, microbiology and radioecology


More information on our Science Platform