Dutch research reactor upgrade contract

04 November 2014

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) in the Netherlands has signed a contract with a South Korean consortium to upgrade its research reactor.

RID reactor at Delft 460
The RID research reactor at Delft (Image: TU Delft)

The contract was signed in Seoul on 3 November by TU Delft chairman of the board of directors Dirk Jan van den Berg and Korea Atomic Energy Research institute (KAERI) president Jong Kyung Kim. It took place during a meeting of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and South Korean president Park Geun-hye.

Under the contract, the KHC consortium - consisting of KAERI, Hyundai Engineering and Hyundai Engineering & Construction - will upgrade the Reactor Institute Delft's (RID's) 2 MWt pool-type research reactor. The contract is worth some €19 million ($24 million).

The reactor upgrade is part of RID's OYSTER (Optimized Yield - for Science, Technology and Education - of Radiation) project. The reactor is used as source of neutrons and positrons for research related to health, energy and materials.

In 2012, the Dutch government provided a €38 million ($48 million) grant for the OYSTER project, which covers a power upgrade to 3 MWt, installation of a cold neutron source, improvement of the neutron beam and irradiation facilities and a contribution to ten years' operating costs.

TU Delft said that it is important "that the infrastructure of the RID is up to date and in line with international standards and trends." It added, "OYSTER is an important step to this end."

At the same time, KAERI signed a memorandum of understanding with TU Delft for further cooperation in the research of radiation safety, the development of nuclear reactor technology, experimental nuclear reactors, radioactive waste management, radiation technology, nuclear medicine and isotopes.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News