The Belgian nuclear research centre SCK-CEN has awarded a €24 million (£20.4 million) contract to three companies to design part of a new nuclear research reactor. It’s set to be the ‘first’ prototype reactor in the world to be driven by a particle accelerator when it becomes fully operational in 2024-25.
The ‘Multi-purpose Hybrid Research Reactor for High-tech Applications’ (MYRRHA) will be used for a wide range of research, including the development of the ‘transmutation’ process for recycling and processing highly radioactive waste.
AREVA, Ansaldo Nucleare and Empresarios Agrupados were assigned the Front End Engineering Design (FEED) contract and will be in charge of the technical design of the project’s infrastructure, with the exception of the reactor itself and the particle accelerator. This includes the design of the buildings, the cooling systems and the instruments and controls of the reactor and accelerator.