Areva Consortium Wins Contract for MYRRHA Fast Reactor in Belgium

An Areva-led consortium recently won a $33 million contract to help manage of one Europe's largest nuclear research projects.

MYRRHA concept. Source: SCK CENBelgian research center SCK CEN has spent several years designing a replacement for its 50-year-old BR2 reactor in Mol. The chosen design, known as MYRRHA, will combine a MOX-fuelled, lead-bismuth-cooled fast reactor with a proton accelerator. Slated to come online in 2025, it will allow scientists to study methods of transmuting long-lived fission products and minor actinides to reduce nuclear waste. The 50-100 megawatt (thermal) plant will also allow research to further the development of heavy-liquid-metal-based reactors. Additionally, it will produce irradiated silicon and medical isotopes, according to SCK CEN.

France-based Areva, Italy's Ansaldo Nucleare and Spain's Empresarios Agrupados will help conduct the next stage of work on the project. They will estimate investment and operation costs for the facility, validate performance objectives and handle licensing. The companies also will be responsible for defining the detailed project schedule, and Areva will manage the overall nuclear design and related studies. Areva was awarded more than half of the contract amount, according to a release from that company Friday.

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  • Anonymous

    Instead of "transmuting fission products" the text should read "transmute actinides" or "transmute transuranics".

  • Thanks for the feedback, Anonymous.

    I've clarified that sentence to include minor actinides. SCK CEN offers this description of MYRRHA's potential to research waste product transmutation:

    "The underlying idea is to transmute long-lived fission products and minor actinides, the most problematic due to their long half-life, into shorter-lived waste, reducing the burden on the nuclear waste disposal." (

    -- Peter

    Nuclear Street News Team