IAEA reaffirms SCK CEN as international role model
IAEA grants re-designation to SCK CEN as ICERR for education, training and R&D
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has once again bestowed its prestigious ICERR recognition upon SCK CEN. This redesignation reaffirms the centre’s pivotal role in the global landscape of nuclear science and technology. The label was officially handed over by Rafael Mariano Grossi, IAEA’s Director General, during the 67th General Conference in Vienna.
Launched in 2014, the ICERR scheme [International Centre based on Research Reactors] supports countries in developing their nuclear science and technology programs by compiling a global list of leading nuclear research centers open for international cooperation. This compilation aids to facilitate access to research reactor facilities, stimulating research and development while enhancing capacity building, with a particular emphasis on countries lacking their own research reactors.
In 2017, SCK CEN was the third institute in the world – after institutes in France and Russia – to be granted this unique label for a 5-year period. “Today, we are proud to say that we are embarking on a renewed phase of global recognition. The re-designation solidifies our position as a hub for knowledge dissemination and skills development in the nuclear domain. It also inspires us to intensify our efforts in advancing research and development and in nurturing global cooperation”, says Peter Baeten, SCK CEN’s Director General. At IAEA’s 67th General Conference in Vienna, SCK CEN has officially received its re-designation as ICERR.
IAEA’s decision follows a comprehensive evaluation and assessment. “SCK CEN’s unique infrastructure and history – coupled with its contributions to education, training and research – have led to this re-designation. As a recognized international centre, SCK CEN makes its research reactors, laboratories and Academy available to students and scientists from dozens of countries, thereby contributing to peaceful use of nuclear technology across the globe”, Rafael Mariano Grossi, the IAEA’s Director General, said.
Key highlights of the re-designation
The IAEA recognizes SCK CEN's remarkable achievements in three key areas:
- Education & Training: SCK CEN's Academy promotes nuclear knowledge transfer. In 2022, over 100 Bachelor or Master students interned or wrote theses, and 25 new PhD students started research in Mol, Belgium.
- Hands-on Training: Practical experience is paramount in the nuclear sector. SCK CEN provides hands-on training, with about 95 courses in 2022 for over 1,100 learners.
- Joint R&D Projects: SCK CEN's ICERR designation will stimulate global collaborations for cutting-edge technologies.
Next to the SCK CEN Academy, SCK CEN facilities for the ICERR re-designation are the research reactors BR1, BR2, VENUS, Laboratory for high and medium activity (LHMA), the chemistry laboratories as well as MYRRHA/MINERVA.
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