Safe operation thanks to material testing
Approximately 120 nuclear reactors are operational in Europe. Several European countries have decided to extend the operation of nuclear power plants. Their safety is a priority. Over time, ionosing radiation can alter structural materials. SCK CEN uses its knowledge of material ageing to accurately predict the lifespan of nuclear reactors.
New reactors and fuels
Uranium reserves are scarce. At the rate at which the world is consuming nuclear fuel, stocks will be depleted by 2100. Fourth generation reactors, the so-called 'fast' reactors, make more efficient use of uranium. To keep the neutrons fast, the core must be cooled with a gas or liquid metal. SCK CEN is investigating the use of liquid lead-bismuth as a coolant.