Belgian Reactor 2

BR2 Materials Testing Reactor

SCK•CEN's BR2 reactor is one of the world's principal high-flux materials testing reactors providing a multipurpose capability for many nuclear and non-nuclear scientific research and commercial applications. Acknowledged to be a key European research tool and by participating in European, national and international R&D programmes, BR2 contributes to the evolution of science and technology, particularly in the field of nuclear safety. Whilst within a national context, it exists primarily as research tool in support of the Belgian commercial PWR's.

The design of the BR2 is particularly well adapted to these R&D options. More information on reactor BR2 can be found in the section 'Research facilities - BR2'.

BR2 expert group: relevant experience

  • High-Temperature gas-cooled Reactors (HTR)
  • Sodium-Cooled Fast Reactors (LMFBR)
  • Gas-Cooled Fast Reactor (GCFR)
  • Pressurised and Boiling water Reactors (PWR & BWR)
  • Fusion reactors
  • Medical & industrial radioisotopes

Experimental capabilities

BR2 is able to provide a fully comprehensive irradiation service from planning the experiment to post irradiation inspection and interpretation of the final results.

As a high-flux reactor, BR2 is able to produce lifetime irradiation effects in fissile and reactor structural materials within escalated time scales to accurately predict their mechanical behaviour and the resultant changes in their nuclear chemistry. Among the principal irradiation devices currently used for this purpose, we operate:

  • The CALLISTO facility is a high-pressure water loop that provides predictive model validation and qualification testing under realistic power reactor operating conditions.
  • MISTRAL is a reusable irradiation device for research on reactor materials exposed to a high fast neutron flux at temperatures below 350 °C.
  • The Pressurised Water Capsule (PWC) devices are used for power transient irradiations of fresh or pre-irradiated LWR fuels.
  • Several dedicated devices are used for in-situ corrosion as well as mechanical testing of material specimens under neutron flux.

Commercial applications

Reactor BR2's high thermal neutron flux (peak 1015n. cm-2.s-1) is ideally suited for the routine production of many important radioisotopes that require a high specific activity. More than 50 radioisotopes are produced for medical and industrial applications.

BR2's quality system is certified to the requirements of EN ISO 9001:2000 for the production of:

Head of Expert GroupVan Dyck Steven