First material transport from Fleurus to Mol

2019-09-05

5 September 2019, Fleurus and Mol (Belgium) – On Wednesday 4 September, the first transport of irradiated material has been carried out from Fleurus to Mol. This transport is part of the public-public partnership between the Institut National des Radioéléments (IRE) and the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre (SCK•CEN) that was signed in December 2018.

In December 2018, the Institut National des Radioéléments (IRE) and the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre (SCK•CEN) announced the signature of a Public-public partnership called RECUMO, (Recovery of valuable Uranium residues of 99Mo based radio-pharma in Belgium), which will bring a structural solution to the management of residues resulting from the production of medical radioisotopes and stored on the IRE’s site in Fleurus.

On Wednesday 4 September, this partnership came true with the first transport of irradiated material from Fleurus to Mol. The transport took place under terms agreed upon with the authorities and in strict compliance with the national and international nuclear safety and security standards.

IRE has started to evacuate irradiated materials from its site. These materials will thus be processed and purified at SCK•CEN after obtaining the necessary licences. Additional transports will be organised and will allow for residues stored on the Fleurus site to be evacuated progressively.

Eric van Walle, Director-General at SCK•CEN: “Thanks to our excellent relationship with IRE and our will to work jointly with them, our partnership is being implemented quickly and the first transport highlights the commitment of both institutes and the wonderful coordination between the teams and the authorities.” 

The RECUMO project strengthens Belgium’s position as the inevitable player in the production and supply of radioisotopes for nuclear medicine. Erich Kollegger, CEO of IRE: “These radioisotopes are crucial for diagnosis as well as for treatment of several diseases, mainly cancer. They play a key role in the fight against cancer, which affects more than 65,000 patients every year in Belgium. This figure will only increase in the future as 80,000 instances are predicted in 2025.”

The RECUMO project is being implemented in close collaboration with the Directorate-General for Energy of the Federal Public Service Economy, SMEs, Middle Classes and Energy and under the supervision of Belgium’s Federal Agency for Nuclear Control (FANC).

Contact

IRE – Bérénice Pignol | +32 471 70 62 44 | berenice.pignol@ire-elit.eu
SCK•CEN – Wendy De Groote | +32 14 33 21 49 | pers@sckcen.be