Studie Centrum Kernenergie / Centre d’Étude d’Énergie Nucléaire (SCK•CEN), Mol, Belgium

Research & Applications

Nuclear energy, reactor technology, decommissioning and decontamination, waste management, low-dose effects, decontamination and internal dosimetry


Bus leaves 08.30 hrs and returns approx. 18.30 hrs

Nota Bene:
There is no option to attend Wednesday morning refresher courses.

Offered by SCK•CEN

Schematic program:

  • Reception/Security Coffee/Tea
  • Subdivision in groups A, B and C
    • Tour A: Radiation protection of men and environment
      Refresher course: Low dose effects of ionising radiation by: Marjan Moreels
      Technical visits: Radiobiology, Microbiology & Radioecology Laboratory
    • Tour B: History & Future: 4 Generations of nuclear research reactors
      Refresher course: Radiation protection principles in 4 generations of nuclear research reactors by: Fernand Vermeersch
      Technical visits: BR1 & heavy liquid metal technology complex
    • Tour C: Research related to geological disposal
      Refresher course: Demonstration of long-term safety of radioactive waste disposal by: Janez Perko
      Technical visit: Underground laboratory HADES
    • Tour D: Decontamination and internal dosimetry
      Refresher course: Low dose effects of ionizing radiation by: Marjan Moreels
      Technical visit: Whole-body counting lab & decontamination wing
  • Lunch in between Refresher courses and technical visits
  • Coffee/Tea pause




SCK•CEN is one of the largest research institutions in Belgium and  conducts fundamental and applied nuclear research at an advanced scientific level and in an international context. The activities of SCK•CEN are focused on three main research topics: the safety of nuclear installations, the well-considered management of radioactive waste, and human and environmental protection against ionising radiation. Next to performing research to peaceful applications of radioactivity, SCK•CEN provides specialist services such as consultancy and organises training courses via its SCK•CEN Academy for Nuclear Science and Technology.

SCK•CEN researches a wide range of topics all aimed to the benefit of society:

  • Radiation protection: Exposure to ionising radiation is not risk free. One of SCK•CEN’s main objectives is to protect humans and the environment against the damaging effects of ionising radiation, now and in the future. To this end they make their expertise available to governments, the medical establishment and industry. When developing nuclear applications, SCK•CEN also focuses on the impact of radiation on humans and the environment.
    The unique knowledge at SCK•CEN about radiation protection is reflected in numerous fields, such as the safe disposal of radioactive waste, the safe operation of nuclear installations, radiation protection in medicine, radiation and contamination in emergency situations and natural radioactivity.
  • Technological innovation: making the impossible possible. SCK•CEN tests materials and fuels for the current and future generation of nuclear reactors and participates in European projects focused on their design and safety. These future installations make more efficient use of nuclear fuels thereby delivering higher performance and resulting in less radioactive waste. 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. This will be the very first prototype in the world of a nuclear reactor driven by a particle accelerator.
  • Nuclear safety: SCK•CEN plays a significant role in the safe operation of nuclear power plants both in Belgium and abroad. It has built up extensive expertise with respect to the ageing processes of nuclear reactors as a result of their research into fuels and irradiated materials. Ionising radiation in a reactor, for example, can deteriorate structural materials and cause cracks.
    The research in this domain is conducted in the BR2 reactor and the laboratory for high and medium level activity (LHMA). Initially, materials are irradiated in BR2 and then analysed at LHMA. The test results can then be used to accurately predict the service life of nuclear reactors.
  • Radioactive waste and decommissioning: Mankind produces radioactive waste in many nuclear applications. This waste continues to emit ionising radiation for decades, hundreds or even thousands of years. In order to protect humans and the environment from the potentially damaging effects of this radiation, SCK•CEN is searching for long-term management solutions for this waste.
    There is a global demand for the dismantling of nuclear installations and this will only increase in future as more and more installations reach the end of their operational life. The main challenge associated with dismantling operations is finding the balance between safety and economic feasibility. The distinctive expertise of SCK•CEN, which was developed during the dismantling of the BR3 reactor, is now available for other nuclear installations at a national and international level.
  • Extensive options of services and consultancy: technology and services based on a reliable scientific foundation. SCK•CEN is active in three different areas, i.e. scientific research, technological development and services. This enables SCK•CEN to accrue and apply newly acquired knowledge and anticipate the requirements of their stakeholders and customers. The services of SCK•CEN concentrate on analysis and measurements, production of radioisotopes, silicon doping, dismantling and decontamination and material testing.
  • Education and training: Sixty years of research into peaceful applications of ionising radiation has enabled SCK•CEN to build up a huge amount of in-house expertise and know-how of nuclear science and technology. Passing this on to future generations is one of the key tasks of the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre. Within SCK•CEN, the Academy for Nuclear Science and Technology manages all education and training activities. The SCK•CEN Academy has four key tasks: Provide guidance for young researchers; Organise academic courses and customised training for professionals; Offer policy support with regard to education and training matters; Care for critical-intellectual capacities for society.