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Studiecentrum voor Kernenergie - Centre d'Étude de l'Énergie Nucléaire (SCK CEN)

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Description of the legal entity

The Belgian Nuclear Research Centre (SCK CEN) is a foundation of public utility conducting groundbreaking research into nuclear energy and ionizing radiation for civilian use, and develops nuclear technologies for socially valuable purposes. SCK CEN achieves this by means of independent, fundamental and applied research, and by providing advice, training, services and products. SCK CEN provides services and operates BR2, a MTR with a very high neutron flux, BR1, a graphite-gas research reactor; VENUS, a zero-power-critical-facility, several gamma irradiation facilities, a Laboratory for High and Medium Activity and Nuclear Analysis and Chemical Laboratories. Through the EIG Euridice, an underground research laboratory HADES is run. SCK CEN also runs a European demonstration program for PWR dismantling, and MYRRHA, a design study of an accelerator-driven system. More than 700 employees dedicate themselves to develop peaceful applications of radioactivity. These developments have resulted in a long list of innovative and forward-looking applications for the medical world and various industries including the energy sector.


Profile of staff members involved

  • Dr Marlies Lambrecht (female): PhD in Material Science. 14 years of experience in neutron irradiation effects on structural materials (especially RPV), including 7 years head of mechanical testing laboratory. Present position: Head of the Mechanical and Corrosion Analyses unit

  • Dr Alexander Bakaev (male): PhD in Physics. More than 12 years of experience with numerical simulations of neutron/ion irradiation effects in materials for nuclear applications. Present position: Scientific Collaborator at the Institute of Nuclear Materials Science at SCK CEN Mol.

  • Dr Rachid Chaouadi (male): PhD in Applied Sciences. More than 30 years at SCK CEN investigating neutron irradiation effects on structural materials, in particular, reactor pressure vessel material embrittlement. Present position: Deputy Director of the Institute of Nuclear Materials Science at SCK CEN Mol.

  • Dr Inge Uytdenhouwen (female): Senior Scientist. She received a PhD in engineering sciences – material science option, Belgium 2011. She worked in the field of plasma physics, plasma wall interaction and effect of neutron irradiation and thermal shock. Knowledge in mechanical testing (high temperature tensile and creep testing, fracture toughness, hardness, Charpy, nano-indentation, 3PB/4PB,…) and microstructural tools (scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, profilometry, positron annihilation, …). Dr Uytdenhouwen was a project leader of several fusion projects under EFDA, EUROfusion, Euratom projects and ITER. She is the WP leader of the NOMAD H2020 project related to non-destructive evaluation techniques on neutron irradiated reactor pressure vessel steels.

  • Mrs Els Jansen (female): Mrs. Els Jansen has a bachelor degree in business management. She was one of the main organizers of the Atomiade 2000, the international sports event of ASCERI. Since 2018 she has been a management assistant at SCK CEN and responsible for the project support office at the Institute of Nuclear Materials Science at SCK CEN Mol. She was the main responsible for the administrative support for the FRACTESUS project preparation. Her administrative and organizational skills will be of added value for this project.

  • Mr Tomasz Brynk (male): PhD with specialization: Materials Science and Engineering, Structural Materials. Scientist experienced in research in the field of materials engineering; skilled in structural materials selection and mechanical properties testing, especially concerning materials available in small volumes.

Relevant publications, and/or products, services

  • Chaouadi R., van Walle E., Scibetta M., Gérard R., “On the Use of Miniaturized CT Specimens for Fracture Toughness Characterization of RPV Materials” (2018), ASME: V01BT01A014, DOI:10.1115/PVP2016-63607.

  • Scibetta M., Lucon E., Chaouadi R., van Walle E., Gérard R., “Use of Broken Charpy V-notch Specimens from a Surveillance Program for Fracture Toughness Determination” (2006),  J. ASTM Int. 3, 12450,DOI: 10.1520/JAI12450

  • Lucon E., Scibetta M., Chaouadi R., van Walle E., “Use of Miniaturized Compact Tension Specimens for Fracture Toughness Measurements in the Upper Shelf Regime” (2015), Journal of ASTM International, 19.10.2005: 1-16

  • Scibetta M., Schuurmans J., Lucon E., van Walle E., “On the use of the crack tip opening angle parameter to explain the ductile crack growth behavior of miniature compact specimens” (2007), Engineering Fracture Mechanics, Vol. 75, No. 11, 05.2007: 3599-3610

Relevant previous projects or activities

  • SCK CEN participated in several international research projects e.g. PERFECT, PERFORM60, INCEFA, SOTERIA, MATTER, MATISSE, LONGLIFE, and NOMAD.

Significant infrastructure and/or any major items of technical equipment

In order to perform its research programme, to provide services to industry, the medical sector, the government and third parties, and for training purposes, SCK CEN operates several nuclear facilities.

  • The BR2 material testing reactor with a very high neutron flux, both thermal and fast;
  • The BR1 graphite-moderated, air-cooled research reactor;
  • The VENUS-F reactor, the first scale model of a subcritical reactor with a total lead core driven by a particle accelerator;
  • The HADES underground research laboratory, situated at a depth of 225 m in the Boom clay-layer;
  • The Laboratory for High and Medium Activity with various hot cells;
  • The Nuclear Analysis and Chemical laboratories;
  • The MYRRHA project, a design study of a new Accelerator Driven System;
  • The BR3 pressurized water reactor, presently a European demonstration programme for reactor dismantling.

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