SCK•CEN: Studiecentrum voor Kernenergie – Centre d'étude de l'énergie nucléaire, Belgium

The Belgian Nuclear Research Centre (SCK•CEN) is a Foundation of Public Utility (FPU), with a legal status according to private law, under the tutorial of the Belgian Federal Minister in charge of energy. SCK•CEN has about 600 employees, of which one third has an academic degree. The statutory mission gives the priority to research on problems of societal concern:

  • Safety of nuclear installations;
  • Radiation protection;
  • Safe treatment and disposal of radioactive waste;
  • Fight against uncontrolled proliferation of fissile materials;
  • Fight against terrorism.

The main facilities of SCK•CEN are: BR2 (a 100 MWth material testing reactor), BR1 (a 4 MWth graphite gas research reactor), VENUS (a zero power critical facility), BR3 (the first PWR reactor built outside the USA, presently serving as a European demonstration programme for reactor dismantling since 1990 after a 25 years of operation), HADES (an underground research laboratory at -230 m in clay for high level waste disposal) , LHMA (laboratory for high and medium activity with various hot cells for irradiated fuel and structural materials), nuclear chemical laboratories for research on highly radioactive materials including irradiated MA;

Since 1998 SCK•CEN is developing in collaboration with IBA s.a. and many other European laboratories and research centres MYRRHA, an Accelerator Driven sub-critical System (ADS). It consists of a proton accelerator proton coupled to a liquid Pb-Bi spallation target in a Pb-Bi cooled and a sub-critical fast core. MYRRHA will serve as a basis for the European experimental ADS. It will provide protons and neutrons for various R&D applications, among others transmutation studies.

SCK•CEN has participated in the European TWG on European Roadmap for ADS transmutation and coordinated the ADOPT Thematic Network. SCK•CEN has participated in the following P&T projects: PDS-XADS, FUTURE, SPIRE, TECLA, MEGAPIE-Test, ASCHLIM, MUSE, and FP6 EUROTRANS Project. SCK•CEN coordinates FP7 CDT and FP7 ARCAS and participates in GETMAT, THINS, ANDES, ADRIANA Projects.

Key persons in the project:

Prof. dr. Peter Baeten, is the coordinator of the FP7 CDT-project and is the Director a.i. of the Institute of Advanced Nuclear Systems (+/- 100 persons). He has a master degree in Applied Physics Engineering and a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering. He is involved in the MYRRHA support team since 2000 where his main field of research was with regard to ADS coupling experiments via FP5 MUSE and FP6 IP-EUROTRANS GUINEVERE. From 1999-2008, he was also responsible for the exploitation and experimental programmes of the VENUS (zero power critical facility) and BR1 (4 MWth graphite-gaz-natural uranium reactor) research reactors at the Mol-site.

Dr. Anatoly Kochetkov, educated in Moscow Physics and Engineering Institute (1980, Diploma of NPP Engineer). He holds a Ph. D. from the Institute for Physics and Power Engineering (IPPE, Obninsk,1990). He was Head of the Laboratory, Head of experimental programs at BFS critical assemblies from 1980 till 2008. His main activities are the measurements and the analysis of the integral nuclear data of the main reactor materials on critical assemblies. Since 2008 he is responsible for the GUINEVERE experimental program at VENUS-F at the Mol-site.

Ing. Guido Vittiglio, educated at the University Bologna (1995 master degree in Nuclear Engineering). He is the head of the Research Reactor Operation group at SCK•CEN and since 2006 he is the exploitation engineer of the reactor VENUS en BR1. Since 2007 he is involved in the GUINEVERE project where he has followed the modification of the VENUS reactor and its licensing process.

Dr. Jan Wagemans, graduated in Physics at the University of Ghent in 1997 and obtained his Ph.D. at the same university in 2000. From 2000 until 2002 he was researcher at the University of Ghent and at the Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements of the Joint Research Centre. In 2002 he joined the SCK•CEN as reactor dosimetry project leader. He is scientific secretary of the European Working Group on Reactor Dosimetry (EWGRD). Dr. Jan Wagemans is author or co-author of about 60 publications in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings in the field of neutron physics and sample preparation techniques and has co-edited three books

Wim Uyttenhove, (°1980, Ghent, Belgium) graduated in 2004 as a mechanical engineer and in 2005 as a nuclear engineer at Ghent University. In 2003 and 2005, he was trainee in nuclear safeguards at the Joint Research Centre (JRC) Ispra, Italy. After his studies, Wim started his professional career as nuclear safety engineer at AVN (Association Vinçotte Nuclear), the Belgian nuclear safety inspection body (at that time). He performed safety analyses in the field of nuclear mechanics and assisted resident inspectors in the Belgian nuclear power plants of Doel and Tihange. Since 2008, he is working as research engineer in neutron physics at the VENUS-F reactor at SCK•CEN, the Belgian nuclear research centre. He carried out the neutronics studies for the licensing of the GUINEVERE project, and is now involved in the experimental programme of GUINEVERE. He is Ph.D. fellow at the Reactor Institute of the Delft University of Technology (The Netherlands). His research deals with online subcriticality monitoring in Accelerator Driven Systems.

Dr. Lucia Popescu, obtained her Ph. D. in Nuclear Physics at Ghent University, in 2005. She was involved in the experimental study of nuclear reactions with charged particles (protons, deuterons and tritons) at accelerator facilities like KVI Groningen (The Netherlands), RCNP Osaka (Japan) and iThemba LABS Cape Town (South Africa). In the past years, she did research studies for the design of charge-exchange experiments in inverse kinematics at Radioactive Beam Facilities like GSI-FAIR (Germany) and RIKEN (Japan). She has extensive experience with nuclear instrumentation and large scale detection systems. She joined SCK•CEN in October 2007, being involved in neutron-induced fission measurements at the BR1 reactor of SCK•CEN and decay experiments at ISOLDE – CERN (Switzerland).