A global one-of-a-kind
SCK CEN works actively on the design and construction of a new multi-purpose research plant: MYRRHA, which stands for Multi-purpose HYbrid Research Reactor for High-tech Applications. MYRRHA is a versatile research infrastructure but above all unique. It is the world's first research reactor driven by a particle accelerator.
Versatility in innovation
The special feature of this unique configuration – Accelerator Driven System (ADS) – is the "subcritical" core of the reactor. The core does not have enough fissile material to spontaneously keep the chain reaction going. It must therefore be fed by an external neutron source using a particle accelerator. The particle accelerator fires protons on a target and, in doing so, generates the neutrons that keep the fission reactions in the reactor going. When the particle accelerator is switched off, the chain reaction will stop automatically and the reactor will be shut down within one millionth of a second.
The MYRRHA project pursues the development of four applications:
Particle accelerator: MINERVA
MYRRHA will be the world's multifunctional first research reactor powered by a particle accelerator. Is the particle accelerator shut down? Then the MYRRHA reactor immediately shuts down too. This makes the MYRRHA facility particularly safe.
If you want to study transmutation further to reduce nuclear waste, you need a fast reactor. MYRRHA will be such a fast reactor.
How do we make MYRRHA fast? By working with lead-bismuth as a coolant, the neutrons maintain their speed. This is new, because traditional reactors, such as dose at the Doel and Tihange nuclear power plants, are cooled with high-pressure water. The downside is that with slow neutrons, you involuntarily produce more long-lived radioactive waste. Lead-bismuth solves that.
MYRRHA's architectural concept design
Mott MacDonald, 2023
Discover the world's first research reactor powered by a particle accelerator.
Strengthen the MYRRHA team
The MYRRHA project is growing for which we are looking for different talents.
Researchers currently support our team of engineers that is developing the MYRRHA prototype. In future, MYRRHA will offer them the opportunity to perform fundamental research.
Civil and industrial engineers test, build and maintain MYRRHA. They are the core of this revolutionary project as they will build highly unique infrastructure. Once the installation has been completed, our engineers will also manage MYRRHA.
Management & support
Xe are looking for the next generation of project managers to manage the multitude of future projects. Service technicians graduated in electromechanical engineering, mechanical engineering and electronics will assume the maintenance of the infrastructure.