History

SCK•CEN’s history goes back as far as 1952. In that time, we have achieved a number of important milestones.

2012 SCK•CEN establishes the Academy for Nuclear Science and Technology. The Academy combines all education and training activities. 
2012 SCK•CEN celebrates its 60th anniversary.
2011 With the European GUINEVERE project, SCK•CEN realises the world's first demonstration model of an accelerator driven system with a complete lead core.
2011 In the aftermath of the nuclear accident in Fukushima, SCK•CEN offers support activities in areas such as analysis, measurements, technical advice etc.
2010 SCK•CEN celebrates 35 years of fusion research.
2010 Europe views MYRRHA as a priority research infrastructure for energy security and the fight against climate change.
2010 The federal government announces financial support for the MYRRHA project.
2010 GUINEVERE is inaugurated; one step forward in the research on accelerator driven systems.
2009 SCK•CEN coordinates Belgian research on fusion within "the broader approach" to nuclear fusion.
2008 The BR3 reactor chimney is demolished: an important step in the dismantling process.
2006 SCK•CEN undergoes a reorganisation process which leads to the creation of three scientific institutes. Each institute researches a specific field of nuclear applications. A fourth institute becomes responsible for communications, support services and administration.
2006 SCK•CEN celebrates the 50th anniversary of Belgian reactor 1 (BR1) and its dosimetry expertise.
2004 SCK•CEN opens new laboratories for research into radiobiology, radio-ecology and astronautics.
2002 SCK•CEN celebrates its 50th anniversary.
2001 SCK•CEN launches the ‘Master’s Degree Course in Nuclear Engineering’ in collaboration with five Belgian universities.
1999 SCK•CEN removes the reactor vessel from Belgian Reactor 3 (BR3).
1999 The MYRRHA research project begins.
1998 SCK•CEN incorporates human and social sciences into its research programmes.
1996 Belgian reactor 2 (BR2) undergoes a major modernisation project.
1995 A major research programme (EIG PRACLAY, later renamed as EIG EURIDICE) is launched in which SCK•CEN, NIRAS and other partners research whether radioactive waste can be stored safely in layers of clay deep underground.
1991 SCK•CEN’s non-nuclear activities are now brought under the umbrella of VITO, the Flemish Institute for Technological Research [Vlaamse Instelling voor Technologisch Onderzoek]. Both institutes continue to work in harmony on the same site, whilst developing independently from each other.
1987 The BR3 pressurised water reactor is closed down. This leads to the immediate launch of the first Western European research programme into the dismantling of this type of nuclear reactor.
1986 SCK•CEN is involved in the measurements following the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.
1974 SCK•CEN launches a research programme into the possibility of storing radioactive waste deep underground.
1970 SCK•CEN extends its operations to non-nuclear activities. 
1964 Commissioning of the VENUS reactor.
1963 Researchers introduce plutonium-enriched fuel rods into BR3.
1962 Commissioning of the pressurised water reactor BR3. 
1961 The growth of SCK•CEN continues with the commissioning of the BR2 reactor. 
1957 The institute changes its name to SCK•CEN (Studiecentrum voor Kernenergie – Centre d’Etude de l’Energie Nucléaire – Belgian Nuclear Research Centre).
1956 Commissioning of the Belgian Reactor 1 (BR1).
1954 Building work is started on the technical and administrative buildings. 
1953 The newly founded research centre is established in Mol (Belgium) and the required land is purchased.
1952  The Belgian government establishes STK-CEAEN, the Research Centre for Nuclear Energy Applications [Studiecentrum voor de Toepassingen van Kernenergie- Centre d’Etudes pour les Applications de l’Energie nucléaire].

More details: SCK•CEN history brochure