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SCK CEN Academy skillslab

Through the SCK CEN Academy, we ensure the transfer of nuclear knowledge, skills and attitudes of students and professionals in the nuclear field. Over the years, SCK CEN has invested in several infrastructures, including dedicated facilities for education and training. Since spring 2022, a renovated room designed for practical training in various nuclear-related topics is in use: the skills lab.


The skillslab facility supports two main purposes: 

  • training of staff/external students and professionals
  • “cold” testing of new equipment

On a regular basis, the SCK CEN Academy provides practical modules for students and professionals in the nuclear field on topics such as PPEs, detection of radiation and behavior in controlled areas.  Complementary, the mockups of the hotcell, intervention tent and glove box allow for realistic working practices and interventions under safe conditions. 

Hot cell operators, technicians, radiation protection officers, students and other professionals can be trained via simulations, mockups and relevant equipment, such as:

  • A glove box
  • A “hot cell” mockup: a real hot cell based on a leak tight alpha-box with all its functionalities (shielding and lead window are simulated for practical reasons)
  • Intervention tent and necessary PPE (personal protective equipment) including respiratory air supply
  • Radiation measurement devices
  • A mockup of an entrance to a controlled area, including zone bench, hand-and foot monitor and required PPEs


A standard glove box is foreseen with several gloves.

The practical training will focus on:

  • What type of work will be performed in a glove box
  • Ergonomic and safety aspects of working with gloves
  • Wear and ageing of the gloves:  Which parameters have an impact?
  • How to inspect and replace gloves
  • How to behave in unfortunately circumstances like a puncture in the glove


This facility focuses on training new Hot Cell operators but also Hot Cell technicians.

Some examples of practical exercises:

  • The use of PLC to control the ventilation (underpressure) and some basic hot cell equipment
  • Maintenance and replacement of telemanipulators and bootings
  • Replacement of filters

The hot cell has all the features of a normal hot cell but with simulated lead shielding and window.  The ventilation system is placed on a separate support structure next to the hot cell to allow visual inspection and easy to access for training.

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Measurement and simulation devices

Next to training infrastructures which could be used in a controlled area, the skillslab is also equipped with a variety of detection devices. The most common detectors used in nuclear industry and medical can be used to measure dose, dose rate and contaminations. 

To fully be in line with the ALARA principle, several simulation devices are also foreseen to simulate radiation sources and contaminations.

The practical exercises can be complemented by theoretical modules or technical visits to one of our installations.

More information about our available training modules

The fruitful collaboration between the colleagues of the nuclear materials science institute at SCK CEN and the SCK CEN Academy will further build, maintain and expand nuclear-related skills on peaceful applications of ionising radiation to allow a safe use of ionising radiation in industry, healthcare and research.

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