Permit granted for RECUMO facility
Construction works to start at the end of 2022
SCK CEN has been allowed to expand an existing nuclear facility on its site. In the so-called RECUMO facility, the nuclear research centre will purify the radioactive residues resulting from the production of medical radioisotopes. 'We are pleased that all competent authorities are giving their approval and granting the necessary permits,' says Eric van Walle, Director-General of SCK CEN.
SCK CEN has obtained all necessary permits to expand an existing nuclear facility on its site. That expansion is necessary in order to carry out the RECUMO project. This project forms a continuation of the long-standing partnership between SCK CEN and its sister company, the National Institute for Radio Elements (IRE). SCK CEN will convert the radioactive residues that remain following the production process of medical radioisotopes into low enriched uranium and purify them. The high-quality material that is recovered can be reused as fuel for research reactors or as targets for radioisotope production. As such, RECUMO guarantees the security of supply of medical radioisotopes.
Two authorities have now officially approved this project. The Federal Agency for Nuclear Control (FANC) has granted the establishment and operating permit, while the Flemish Region has issued the environmental permit. A public enquiry was conducted prior to this decision. 'I am pleased that all competent authorities have granted us the necessary permits,' says Eric van Walle, Director-General of SCK CEN. These permits are a necessary condition to be able to carry out the RECUMO project. 'Thanks to the RECUMO project, Belgium will be anchoring its extensive nuclear knowledge and strengthening its leading position in the production of medical radioisotopes.'
Now that all competent authorities have given their approval, SCK CEN can start the actual construction. 'According to the schedule, we will start the works on our site this autumn. The completion of the facility is planned for 2025,' van Walle clarifies. Shortly after that, the nuclear research centre will commission the facility and start purifying the residues. These residues come from the IRE in Fleurus. According to the current plan, the facility will be processing the residues until 2038.
A watchful eye
The RECUMO project of SCK CEN-IRE is being implemented in close cooperation with the Directorate-General for Energy of the FPS Economy, SMEs, Self-employed and Energy, and under the supervision of the Federal Agency for Nuclear Control (FANC), Euratom and the United States. They will impose safety and security standards and will carry out checks to ensure that these are strictly complied with.
More information? Visit the RECUMO website.
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