An international consortium comprising AREVA TA (France), Ansaldo Nucleare (Italy) and Empresarios Agrupados (Spain) has won a EUR24 million ($32 million) contract to design the infrastructure for the international MYRRHA research reactor.
MYRRHA is an innovative research reactor driven by a particle accelerator, planned for construction at the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre (SCK-CEN) in Mol. First operation envisaged for 2024-2025.
SCK-CEN, which is responsible for the design of the reactor, awarded the two-year infrastructure design contract following a competitive tendering process.
"The design of the reactor itself has been carried out by our own team. But, of course, a reactor cannot work by itself. This FEED [front end engineering design] contract will cover everything that is not part of the SCK-CEN specializations," said Hamid Aït Abderrahim, Director of the MYRRHA project.
This includes the design of the buildings, the cooling systems and the instrumentation and control of the reactor and the particle accelerator, SCK-CEN said.
Along with the consortium of AREVA, Ansaldo Nucleare and Empresarios Agrupados, the Belgian company Grontmij will execute part of the tender as a subcontractor of AREVA TA.
SCK-CEN said that once the design contract has been completed, the first contracts for the various components of MYRRHA could be concluded.
However, the project is still subject to approval by the Belgian government, which is expected to decide whether on not to proceed with the project in 2014. Belgium is providing 40% of the total EUR960 million required for the MYRRHA. This equates to around EUR32 million per year over a 12-year period. 50% of this investment is to be borne by the Ministry of Climate & Energy and 50% by the Ministry of Science Policy.
Photo: SCK-CEN site (Copyright SCK-CEN)