Nuclear Systems Design

The Nuclear Systems Design expert group (NSD) executes basically all engineering with a nuclear dimension.

The expert group consists of 2 units:

  • Experimental Rig Design (ERD)
  • Instrumentation Control & Research (ICR)

Experimental Rig Design

The Experimental Rig Design unit executes design work in the frame of European projects, executes nuclear design for other SCK•CEN institutes and executes design and construction of irradiation devices to meet customer’s requirements regarding:

  • neutron fluence
  • temperature
  • chemistry
  • dedicated production of radioisotopes

Irradiation devices are designed for the BR2 reactor, for the future MYRRHA reactor, but equally for other non-SCK•CEN experimental reactors.

There are two main fields of irradiation devices:

Devices for scientific and technological programmes

  • Fuels and materials for different fission reactor types, ADS and fusion reactors  
  • Fuels for MTR's
  • Safety tests
  • Diagnostics and remote handling sensors
  • In-pile instrumentation (mainly for use in irradiation devices)

Devices for commercial productions

Instrumentation & Control Research (ICR)

The Instrumentation and Control Research has three major objectives:

  • Providing instrumentation and control support for internal SCK•CEN projects
  • Providing services and consultancy in the field of instrumentation for external clients
  • Developing state-of-the art instrumentation in the nuclear field

Support for internal projects

  • Develop, install, test and maintain instrumentation and control systems for irradiation devices for the BR2 reactor (in synergy with the ERD unit)
  • Design and implementation of instrumentation and control systems for LBE loops in the MYRRHA project
  • Support on I&C level of other projects at SCK•CEN

Services and Consultancy

  • Consultancy tasks for F4E (mainly concerning radiation hardness of components and radiation effects on diagnostic systems)
  • Neutron/gamma irradiation testing for F4E
  • Scientific support of self-powered neutron detector projects at THERMOCOAX
  • Ad-hoc consultancy projects for other customers

State-of-the-art instrumentation

  • Development of new nuclear instrumentation in collaboration with CEA (Laboratoire Commun d’Instrumentation)
  • Development and testing of Fiber-Optic Current Sensor (FOCS) for tokamak plasma monitoring
  • Detailed modelling of nuclear sensors for improved signal interpretation


Head of Expert Group: Leysen Paul