The United States Department of Energy (DOE) and Belgium’s Studiecentrum voor Kernenergie/Centre d’Etude de l’Energie Nucléaire (SCK•CEN) (also known as the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) concerning cooperation in nuclear energy research and development on January 13, 2017.
This MOU will enable collaboration on future irradiations and post-irradiation examinations (PIE), including planned SCK•CEN activities to take place in the Belgium Reactor–2 (BR-2) and associated Laboratory for High and Medium Activity (LHMA) hot cells, as well as planned DOE activities to take place in the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR), the Transient Reactor Test (TREAT) Facility, and High Temperature Test Laboratory (HTTL) located at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) and other facilities that are part of DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy Nuclear Science User Facilities (NSUF).
Initial collaboration is being performed under a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) under Annex 1 of the MOU, between SCK•CEN and INL that was negotiated and signed on November 14, 2016, to conduct irradiation tests and perform PIE activities with silicon carbide, uranium alloys and uranium ceramic materials, as well as develop sensors and instrumentation. The outcomes of this collaboration will support and enhance future NSUF opportunities and capabilities for nuclear energy researchers.
The nuclear industry may access some of these capabilities through the Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) initiative to help achieve faster and cost-effective development of innovative nuclear energy technologies toward commercial readiness.
Learn more about the GAIN initiative at https://gain.inl.gov.