The renewed interest in nuclear energy – to a large extent stimulated by concerns about global climate change, high volatility of fossil fuel prices and security of energy supply – has also revived discussions on advanced reactor concepts with the potential to reduce significantly the long-term radioactivity of nuclear waste. One of these concepts is an accelerator-driven system (ADS) which combines a particle accelerator with a subcritical reactor core. The Belgian research centre SCK•CEN at Mol has launched a project aiming to construct an ADS consisting of a high energy proton, linear accelerator combined with a lead-bismuth-cooled, subcritical reactor. The project is called MYRRHA (Multi-purpose Hybrid Research Reactor for High-tech Applications).
The Belgian government asked the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) to organise an international peer review of the MYRRHA project to provide an independent evaluation as part of the decision-making process. This report presents the findings from the review, which was conducted by a team of seven high-level experts from seven countries, assisted by the NEA Secretariat.