MYRRHA: an innovative research installation

SCK•CEN is actively working on designing and building a new multifunctional research installation: MYRRHA as in Multi-purpose hYbrid Research Reactor for High-tech Applications.

MYRRHA is the very first prototype of a nuclear reactor driven by a particle accelerator in the world. In this unique configuration known as an Accelerator Driven System (ADS), the ‘subcritical’ reactor core is characterised by the fact that there is insufficient fissile material to spontaneously maintain the fission chain reaction. It must therefore be continuously fed by an external neutron source: a particle accelerator. By switching off the particle accelerator, the chain reaction stops in a fraction of a second and the reactor immediately shuts down.

Broad spectrum of applications

MYRRHA opens the way to a broad spectrum of applications. Thanks to MYRRHA, we will be able to:

  • develop technologies allowing to process radioactive waste through transmutation.
  • produce new radioisotopes for the diagnosis and treatment of disease such as cancer.
  • conduct fundamental scientific research in nuclear physics, atomic physics, fundamental interactions, solid-state physics, nuclear medicine, …
  • help develop advanced nuclear reactors, essentially reactors cooled by lead-bismuth.
  • test materials and components for new nuclear fission and nuclear fusion reactors.
  • conduct pioneering research in every aspect of nuclear energy.
  • train new generations of nuclear experts.

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