The European Commission-owned Petten High Flux Reactor (HFR) in The Netherlands has reached its 40th year of service last month.
The HFR research reactor has played a key role in both nuclear and medical research and development in Europe. Dutch authorities decided to build the reactor because it was considered critical to have the possibility of further developing nuclear knowledge. The "Reactor Centre Nederland" was initiated and construction of the HFR started in 1957. Ownership of the reactor was later transferred to the European Agency for Atomic Energy (Euratom) "to facilitate European usage of this unique facility." Day-to-day operation of the HFR is now the responsibility of The Nuclear Research and Consultancy Group (NRG).
More than seven million patients in Europe are now treated with radioisotopes from the HFR every year.
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