Certain work processes, including the production of electricity through nuclear energy, nuclear medicine, medical imaging and radiotherapy, use ionising radiation or radioactivity. Increased exposure allows for a higher risk of health damage. SCK CEN measures, analyses and controls the doses that both workers and the environment incur.
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, ionising radiation can alter structural materials. SCK CEN uses its knowledge of material ageing to accurately predict the lifespan of nuclear reactors.
Low-level radioactive measurements
Radioactivity is a natural phenomenon, but also arises from human activities. It is present everywhere, but not visible to the naked eye. So how do we perceive radioactivity? SCK CEN knows the tricks of the trade and even detects extremely low concentrations of radioactivity.
The likelihood of a nuclear incident is small, but never completely ruled out. In the event of a nuclear incident, radioactivity may be released into the air, water or soil. In order to be able to take appropriate measures, the government must be able to assess the situation correctly. SCK CEN helps the government by carrying out on-site measurements and calculating the radiological consequences for people and the environment.
A village on the moon. A colony on Mars. Ambitious plans are circulating, but prolonged weightlessness, cosmic radiation and a lack of food supply make the plans impossible for the time being. With its space research, SCK CEN is working on solutions to the challenges that stand in the way of further space exploration.