To support the design activities for MYRRHA, an accompanying R&D support programme has been launched. The aim is to validate solutions to current design challenges in the different technological domains.
The R&D programme covers 5 different fields
The R&D programme on Lead-Bismuth technology is needed to sufficiently understand the behaviour of the heavy liquid metal in reactor conditions such as in MYRRHA.
The R&D programme for the qualification of the MOX fast reactor driver fuel for MYRRHA.
Since the development of innovative reactors such as MYRRHA is highly dependent on the material behaviour in reactor conditions, a dedicated material qualification programme is required.
The correct working of large innovative components needs to be assured through a dedicated R&D programme.
The reactor physics of these innovative fast and sub-critical cores demands the development of new calculation tools and for code validation by integral experiments for which a representative zero power facility is a pre-requisite.
The five components of the R&D programme are being performed also in an international context. In the framework of European framework programmes and bilateral agreements, European partners carry out research which is mostly of generic nature in support of MYRRHA, but sometimes also specifically targeted R&D for MYRRHA is performed by third parties. In this way, the supporting R&D programme for MYRRHA is much larger than just the SCK•CEN efforts.
The R&D programme on the accelerator is conducted by the European partners, since the SCK•CEN area of expertise is related to fission reactors and not to accelerator technology. In this collaboration SCK•CEN mainly assures the integration of the accelerator in the MYRRHA concept and evaluates the specific aspects related to the coupling of an accelerator to a sub-critical core. The main point in the R&D programme on the accelerator is the work performed to obtain a high reliability for the accelerator.