SCK, the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre in Mol, announced a EUR 40 million investment in its Belgian Reactor 2 (BR2) research infrastructure. According to Director General van Walle, this technology enables 7 million cancer tests to be conducted annually.
Cutting-edge medical technology
This one-of-a-kind reactor produces medical radioisotopes, which are essential to the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. “This investment ensures that these tests can be conducted for at least another 10 years,” says Eric van Walle, Director General.
After a 16-month refurbishment period, the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre recently celebrated the successful rebirth of its BR2 research reactor. “During those 16 months, the matrix – the heart of the reactor – was replaced. The reactor was restarted as planned in July 2016 and has since successfully completed two production cycles of medical radioisotopes,” the Director General explains.
More than meets the eye
Besides the radioisotopes, BR2 also meets 25% of the world’s demand for doped silicon, a semiconductor used in electronic components for hybrid cars, wind turbines, solar panels, and more. As one of the most powerful and flexible research reactors in the world, BR2 is involved in numerous research programs concerning the safety of nuclear materials and fuels, as well as the European nuclear fusion program.
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