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 and, more specifically, it involves the management of the validation of the models and methods used and essential for demonstrating safety.
The expert group "Nuclear Systems Physics" (or NSP) is responsible for the safety analysis of the MYRRHA installation and is also largely responsible for the safety design of this 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 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.
The models and methods used in these safety demonstrations must be thoroughly validated. This means that their applicability and reliability must be thoroughly demonstrated. To this end, the NSP expert group identifies which aspects of the safety demonstration require further validation and determines which research is necessary to support the validation.
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 tasks for which an additional function is being created is to determine and manage the needs for validation of the models used in the safety demonstrations.
As "Nuclear safety analyst validation management", you will be responsible for collecting and mapping all validation needs for the models used by the expert group in safety demonstrations, and for managing the programme that is responsible for demonstrating the adequacy of the models used or that may lead to the adaptation of those models for a more correct or conservative representation of the real problem. You will also be responsible for the creation and management of a database that collects all the critical parameters and conditions of the safety evaluation, in order to ensure the coherence of the different safety studies with each other and with the design.
The function requires an in-depth and broad physical understanding of thermohydraulics and reactor physics and a talent for organisation in order to manage and systematise large quantities of information.
The function focuses on the performance of an essential task within the scope of a progressive and challenging project in a technically and scientifically stimulating environment. The tasks associated with the function make it possible for the person taking on the role to expand the breadth and depth of his/her technical expertise and to develop and put into practice his/her talent for organisation.
• Master's degree in engineering sciences, preferably with a specialisation in thermohydraulics.
• Experience in developing and applying mathematical models to solve complex technical problems of a thermohydraulic nature would be a plus.
• Good contact-making and communication skills in order to function smoothly across divisions within a large group.
• Good organisational and systematising qualities.
• Good knowledge of English.
• Good knowledge of Dutch would be desirable and good knowledge of French would be an advantage.