BR2 research reactor will start on 20 December
Today, the Belgian nuclear safety authorities FANC and BEL V gave the nuclear research centre SCK CEN a go-ahead to start the planned cycle of the BR2 research reactor. This is reassuring news for the medical sector, since the reactor provides on average 50% to 55%, in operation up to 90%, of the global demand for medical radioisotopes.
At each operating cycle, the research reactor provides the necessary raw materials for diagnoses to at least one million patients and for cancer treatment to at least 3,000 patients. Last October, the research reactor was unexpectedly unable to start up due to a mechanical failure of a non-return valve, with an inevitable impact on the supply of medical radioisotopes.
In the past few months, SCK CEN carried out extensive safety analyses to ensure a safe start-up. These analyses were studied in detail by the Belgian nuclear safety authorities FANC and BEL V. These analyses and the accompanying measures that followed led to the green light today.
SCK CEN is now completing all preparations to allow the planned cycle to go continue. BR2 will start on 20 December 2022 and run until 22 January 2023.
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