Vienna – Monday 18 September – The long-term experience of SCK•CEN in R&D as well as the unique character of its research facilities led the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) to award the ICERR label to the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre. The official presentation took place this Monday in the presence of Yukiya Amano, Director General of the IAEA, during the 61st IAEA General Conference in Vienna.
SCK•CEN is the third institute in the world, after institutes in France and Russia, to be granted this unique label for a 5-year period. It is an outstanding recognition for Belgium.
With the ICERR label (International Centre based on Research Reactors), the IAEA wishes to draw up an international reference list of advanced nuclear research centres to support capacity building in countries seeking to develop nuclear science and technology programs, including nuclear power. The underlying intention is to help member states without research reactors gain access to these facilities for a given period.
“The IAEA ICERR scheme helps IAEA Member States access state-of-the-art facilities and so achieve their national nuclear research and development and capacity building objectives,” IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said at today’s designation ceremony. “Through advanced training, ICERRs foster knowledge, build nuclear competence and develop nuclear safety culture.”
The SCK•CEN Academy is capitalizing on its years of experience to offer a broad range of training courses. Last year (2016) about 1300 students and professionals followed an education or training program at SCK•CEN, about 100 Bachelor or Master students performed an internship or thesis work at our laboratories and 24 new PhD students were selected to start their research project in Mol.
“This ICERR certificate is also a recognition of our excellence in education and training. The nuclear expertise and experience obtained through our R&D activities support the education and training activities with which we transfer knowledge and skills to the current and future generations. Our nuclear facilities, and more specifically our research reactors, are an essential aid for this.” says Michèle Coeck, Head SCK•CEN Academy.
“Our infrastructure and expertise are unique and recognized by the highest authority in atomic energy on an international level. We were given the research centre role model for years to come. There is no doubt that this recognition will enhance SCK•CEN exposure and will lead to achieving new projects.” explains Eric van Walle, SCK•CEN Director General.
From left to right:
Willem Van de Voorde, Belgian Ambassador in Austria
Yukiya Amano, Director-General IAEA
Eric van Walle, Director-General SCK•CEN