SCK CEN is at the forefront of Heavy Liquid Metal (HLM) nuclear technology worldwide with the development of the MYRRHA accelerator driven system (ADS) since 1998.
MYRRHA is conceived as a flexible fast-spectrum research irradiation facility cooled by Lead Bismuth Eutectic (LBE). The nominal design power of the MYRRHA reactor is 70 MWth. It is driven in sub-critical mode by a high power proton accelerator based on LINAC technology delivering a 600 MeV proton beam of 4 mA intensity in Continuous Wave (CW) mode. The choice of the LINAC technology is dictated by the unprecedented reliability level required by the ADS application.
MYRRHA is proposed to the international community of nuclear energy and nuclear physics as a large research infrastructure to serve as a multipurpose fast spectrum irradiation facility for various fields of research such as transmutation of High Level Waste (HLW), material and fuel for Gen IV reactors, materials for fusion energy, innovative radioisotopes development and production, and fundamental physics.
MYRRHA is serving since 1998, started with the FP5 EURATOM framework, as the backbone of the Partitioning & Transmutation (P&T) strategy of the European Commission and is fostering the R&D activities in EU related to the ADS and the associated HLM technology developments. MYRRHA was identified by SNETP (www.snetp.eu) as the European Technology Pilot Plant for the Lead-cooled Fast Reactor.
In 2015, SCK CEN and the Belgian federal government decided to implement the MYRRHA facility in three phases to minimise the technical risks associated to the needed accelerator reliability.
On September 7, 2018 the decision was taken by the Belgian federal government to build this large research infrastructure.
In this talk, I will introduce the basis of an ADS, the MYRRHA main technological choices and its pan-European dimension. I will focus on the project current status and, in particular, on the MYRRHA phase I, MINERVA, consisting of the first 100 MeV of the LINAC and its related targets facility.