Safety

Non-proliferation: preventing
the proliferation of nuclear weapons

To prevent proliferation of nuclear materials and weapons (non-proliferation), fuels such as uranium and plutonium must be managed and controlled in a responsible manner. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) monitors their peaceful application. SCK•CEN supports the IAEA in the development of more effective and resourceful control methods.

Technical inspections

For almost 30 years SCK•CEN has been in charge of the Belgian support programme for the IAEA and has been developing, for example, techniques to measure plutonium in spent fuel from nuclear power plants in locations such as Doel and Tihange. SCK•CEN also develops inspection methods for new Belgian nuclear installations such as the future MYRRHA research reactor and geological disposal of high-level radioactive waste.

Rapid detection of nuclear weapons programme

Together with the University of Antwerp, we have developed a list of political and economic indicators that enable us to detect the initiation of a nuclear weapons programme in a specific country at an early stage. Typical examples of indicators include: nature of the regime, alliance with a nuclear weapons state, geopolitical situation, availability of fissile material, etc. This new prevention system will in future also determine which countries can expect more frequent and rigorous inspections by the IAEA.