Belgian research reactor BR2 will not start up in November
The start of this 35-day cycle was scheduled for 28 October but was postponed due to a mechanical failure of a non-return valve. The necessary inspections were immediately carried out and are now finished. Based on the inspections, a safety analysis was performed and a file was handed over to the safety authorities. The talks with the safety authorities did not result in an approval to start up so far. Therefore, SCK CEN decided to cancel this cycle.
To limit the impact on the supply of medical radioisotopes, other producers such as the South African reactor Safari-1 were immediately contacted. They extended their cycle to ensure limited additional supply. In Czech Republic, the reactor LVR-15 should also start up early to produce additional medical radioisotopes.
This is the first time in 50 years that our reliable research reactor BR2 misses a full cycle.
We are aware of the huge impact of this missed cycle on the supply of medical radioisotopes for cancer diagnostics. SCK CEN is doing its utmost to start the next scheduled cycle on 20 December.
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