Invest in infrastructure
Unique facilities are a decisive catalyst for pioneering research.
1. Radiochemistry facility for medical radioisotopes
RECUMO offers a structural solution for the radioactive residues that remain after the production of medical radioisotopes. The project makes use of the latest technology in terms of radiochemistry. SCK CEN and the National Institute for Radioelements (IRE) put the first spade into the ground for the RECUMO building in early 2023. In March 2022, they received all the licences for this. From 2026, the facility will convert radioactive residues into pure, low-enriched uranium. This will give the residues a new lease on life. This includes fuel for research reactors or for the production of medical radioisotopes.
As such, RECUMO is guaranteeing the global supply of medical radioisotopes. IRE and SCK CEN are together responsible for a quarter of their global production. The organisations have made a difference to millions of patients in the past 50 years. RECUMO will process both current residues and residues produced in the future, up to the year 2038.
Do you want to know more about RECUMO?
2. First steps towards unique particle accelerator facility
On Friday 9 December 2022, SCK CEN got some good news in it’s inbox. The Federal Agency for Nuclear Control formally gave its blessing for building the first part of a linear particle accelerator. This part will be almost 150 metres long and will become the physical starting point of a world first. This world first answers to the name of MYRRHA (Multi-purpose hYbrid Research Reactor for High-tech Applications). It is the world's first research reactor powered by a particle accelerator, which SCK CEN aims to build by 2036.
And this approval is an early, societally relevant Christmas present. It brings the start of MYRRHA closer than ever before. MYRRHA will help us find solutions to a wide range of issues. How do we improve the management of radioactive waste? How do we battle cancer even more effectively? How do we use lead-cooling technology for Small Modular Reactors? Based on the technical specifications, this particle accelerator is viewed as a Class IIa project. This is the same category as the university hospitals in Belgium. The application for an environmental licence will run in 2023.
Want to know more about MYRRHA phase 1?
Invest in knowledge
We guarantee the transfer of nuclear knowledge and skills to students, professionals and the general public.
Invest in foundations
We are lucky to have unique knowledge in a wide range of fields. This knowledge is used on a daily basis for numerous purposes, including the safe operation of nuclear power plants and space exploration.
Invest in the future
A sustainable future will not be served to us on a silver platter. That platter has to be forged and the future, assembled. That work does not just happen. Someone has to take charge to pave the way. A pioneer. Find out in this annual report how SCK CEN is the pioneer of 2040.