SCK•CEN is working on the design of MYRRHA, a multi-purpose irradiation installation. MYRRHA is part of the research into and development of a reactor technology that allows the transmutation of long-lived and highly radiotoxic isotopes from highly radioactive waste of the current generation of commercial nuclear production plants to shorter-lived and less radiotoxic isotopes. MYRRHA is a flexible fast spectrum research reactor that is driven by an Accelerator Driven System (ADS). It consists of a 600 MeV proton linear accelerator, a spallation target and a multiplication core with fissile material cooled with liquid lead-bismuth.
SCK•CEN aims to obtain a permit for the construction of MYRRHA in 2028. In order to obtain this permit, a thorough safety demonstration of the installation must be provided. This function is part of the safety analysis of the MYRRHA reactor. More specifically, you will be responsible for determining which fracture failures cannot be excluded and how fracture failures that cannot be detected can still be excluded (by means of design, inspections, monitoring, etc.).
The expert group "Nuclear Systems Physics" (or NSP for short) is responsible for the safety analysis of the MYRRHA installation and is also largely responsible for the safety design of this installation. Fractures in systems containing coolant or barriers containing radioactive contents are important determining factors for the degree to which accidents can occur and must be detected. They largely determine the design of the installation.
NSP is made up of Engineers and Physicists who draw up models that allow the real behaviour of the installation to be reliably predicted in circumstances involving accidents. The studies using these models must make it possible to demonstrate that the installation is capable of dealing with postulated accidents in a safe manner or must indicate which modifications to the design of the installation are necessary to cope with these accidents.
At present, the NSP team consists of about 12 people who primarily have thermohydraulic and/or reactor physics expertise. This team will be considerably strengthened in order to obtain a building permit by 2028. One of the requirements of the team is to acquire more expertise or to arrive at a better definition of the accidents to be considered in the field of fracture mechanics.
As a "Nuclear Safety Analyst Fracture Mechanics", you will be responsible for determining the strategy to minimise the risk of fractures and to determine which fractures cannot be excluded. Furthermore, by applying your thermohydraulics expertise, you will be expected to determine which fractures are enveloping for the safety analysis.
In addition to a good theoretical/academic knowledge of fracture mechanics, this function also requires a thorough knowledge of nuclear regulations and common fracture practices, such as the practice of 'leak before break'.
The function involves the contribution of expertise that is currently only present to a limited extent in the expertise group.
The function gives you the opportunity to further develop your expertise in an intellectually stimulating research environment.
• Master's degree in engineering sciences, preferably with a specialisation in mechanics.
• Considerable experience in fracture mechanical applications for nuclear installations.
• Good knowledge of English.
• Knowledge of Dutch and/or French would be an advantage.
• A thorough and careful approach to work in terms of quality.