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[en] MELiSSA (Micro-Ecological Life Support System Alternative) is a collaborative project with the European Space Agency ESA and various other scientific partners. The objective of MELiSSA is to develop a system that is able to provide manned space missions with food, drinking water and oxygen autonomously in space. Drinkable water and oxygen are currently being made in the international space station ISS by filtering waste water and by electrolysing water. However, such physiochemical technologies do not offer a solution for food. The MELiSSA project intends to reuse waste products, which include CO2, water, stools and urine from the astronauts, and even the perspiration moisture in the cabin and to transfer these into food through the use of micro-organisms.
[en] The Belgian Nuclear Research Center SCK-CEN has been studying the long-term effects of low radiation doses on health for over 40 years.This uses mice because more than 90 per cent of their genome is identical with that of human beings. In order to work better and more ethically, SCK-CEN has invested 3 million euros in a brand-new animal facility. This makes it possible to carry out research under the best possible conditions for both humans and mice.
[en] In 2003, the University of Ghent shut down its Thetis research reactor permanently. Following the removal of the fuel in 2010, the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre SCK-CEN prepared the decommissioning permit. FANC approved the permit in 2012, after which SCK-CEN took responsibility for the management of the decommissioning process, which was completed in 2014. The article describes the decommissioning process of Thetis.
[en] The Fukushima nuclear accident dates from 11 March 2011. The Belgian Nuclear Research Center SCK-CEN was involved from the start in the investigation of radioactivity in ocean waters and the effect on marine life. The article discusses the potential long-term ecological consequences of radioactive discharges on rivers.
[en] A consortium of three French, two British, and four Flemish universities and research institutions, including the Belgian Nuclear Research Center SCK-CEN, started in 2014 on the construction of a neutrino experiment in the BR2 reactor. A reactor such as this is an extremely intense source of neutrinos: elementary particles that are generated as a by-product of nuclear beta decay. BR2 is particularly suitable with regard to carrying out this measurement because of the compact core, the high operating capacity, sufficient space for placing a fairly large detector, and the extremely low background radiation. The article discusses recent developments.
[en] More than 256 hectares of the Belgian Nuclear Research Center SCK-CEN estate are included in approved forest management plans. So there is an obligation to take care of the forest area. But there is more to this: both at the request of third parties and on its own initiative, SCK-CEN is taking measures to improve the ecological context and support projects for specific populations.
[en] The The mission of the Learning Centre at the Belgian Nuclear researcxh Center SCK-CEN is to develop the competences of its own members of staff, doctoral students, temporary workers and external employees. For this purpose, the Learning Centre organises a range of training courses specifically aimed at the expectations and needs of various target groups.
[en] For the qualification of the MYRRHA reactor, a lot of research is needed. A new research facility will characterise the hydraulic and hydrodynamic behaviour of various full-scale reactor components.To this end, it is filled with almost 9,000 kg of lead-bismuth. The research is significant for the MYRRHA system designers and provides test data for the validation of numerical simulation codes.
[en] A new generation of nuclear facilities could offer a sustainable answer to the growing demand for low-carbon energy. They will be safer and more efficient and produce less waste. However, these fourth-generation nuclear reactors demand higher temperatures, a much higher neutron flux and potentially aggressive cooling media, in particular liquid metals. The article discusses progress made by the Belgian Nuclear Research Center SCK-CEN in materials research.
[en] The Belgian Nuclear Research Centre has carried out a series of experiments in reactor BR2 in order to qualify U3Si2 fuel for operating conditions pertaining to the Jules Horowitz reactor. The article discusses these experiments and their outcome.