MYRRHA project focus shifts from R&D to project implementation

The MYRRHA project has shifted its focus from R&D to project implementation. That was the main message at the MYRRHA team meeting at the SCK•CEN site in Mol where the project will be constructed and operated.

The annual meeting gathered the 150 MYRRHA team members for a briefing on the MYRRHA status and outlook. The Belgian government’s decision of September 2018 cleared the path towards MYRRHA’s implementation. The funded MYRRHA phase 1 consists of the implementation of MINERVA (the 100 MeV linear accelerator and its target stations) as well as R&D for the reactor and the extended linear accelerator. The newly established organisation supports a project oriented approach for designing, construction and commissioning of MYRRHA phase 1. Phase 2 consists of the upgrade of the accelerator to 600 MeV; Phase 3 deals with the construction of the lead-bismuth eutectic cooled subcritical reactor.

For MINERVA, MYRRHA Project Director Hamid Aït Abderrahim pointed out that the project’s focus had shifted from R&D to project implementation. This was translated in the establishment of the MINERVA Design and Build (MDB) institute within SCK•CEN led by Adrian Fabich. MDB is responsible for the implementation of the linear accelerator up to 100 MeV, the Proton Target Facility and the Fusion Target Station.

The design and licensing activities for the reactor are essential parts within Phase 1 towards the full MYRRHA implementation. These activities complemented by support R&D are pursued within the Advanced Nuclear Studies (ANS) institute, led by Marc Schyns. This will lead to  the MYRRHA Reactor construction license by 2026. For these parts of MYRRHA Phase 1 the same spirit shift from R&D to implementation is applied through the vertical integration resulted in the reorganization of groups within ANS.

The successful implementation of MINERVA and the MYRRHA reactor design for obtaining construction permit are required by 2026 by the governmental decision for continuing the path towards MYRRHA. Our aim is to meet the 2026 target, not only to fulfil the requirement but also because this is our own objective as a Team.