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€100 million for research into modular nuclear reactors: “This should allow research into whether sustainable nuclear energy is feasible” |  the interior

€100 million for research into modular nuclear reactors: “This should allow research into whether sustainable nuclear energy is feasible” | the interior

The Nuclear Research Center SCK CEN in Mol will receive a research budget of 100 million euros from the federal government. Prime Minister Alexandre de Croo (Open Vld) said this today in celebration of SCK CEN’s 70th birthday.

The budget is primarily aimed at researching small modular reactors. “Small Modular Reactors” (SMR) are also referred to as “Reactors of the Future”. SCK CEN will conduct the research in close collaboration with international partners.

According to De Croo, the creation of the SCK CEN was a milestone in the history of Belgium. “SCK CEN will lead Belgium towards sustainable nuclear energy with its unparalleled nuclear expertise.”

sustainable nuclear energy

Energy Minister Tine van der Straiten (Groen) explained that in addition to accelerating renewable energy, the government is focusing on other technologies that can contribute to ambitions for 2050. “The government is making €25 million annually for four years. Free for research into small-generation modular reactors Fourth (SMR), which should allow research into whether sustainable nuclear energy is technically feasible.”

Small modular reactors do not use water as a coolant. Liquid metal – sodium or lead – or gas must cool the reactor core. The advantage of this coolant selection is that nuclear fuel is burned more efficiently and ultimately the number of nuclear waste is reduced. Researchers are now looking for economic and technological breakthroughs: passive safety, non-proliferation, and reduced long-life waste.

Research Center

At Christmas, more important visitors came to the mall. Having known SCK CEN since he was trained in nuclear diplomacy in Argentina in the 1990s, Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said, “You’re here at last has a special meaning.” SCK CEN has already produced many innovations. The research center is even older than the IAEA.”

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Rafael Grossi, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency © BELGA

With 850 employees, SCK CEN is one of the largest research institutes in Belgium. Research activities focus on the safety of nuclear facilities, the development of nuclear medicine and the protection of people and the environment from ionizing radiation.

SCK CEN was founded in 1952 to promote nuclear energy in Belgium and launch the Belgian Nuclear Age. SCK CEN has helped thousands of people around the world, for example by developing medical applications from nuclear research.