Newsletter July 2014

In this newsletter:

Training course on decommissioning nuclear installations

deco2.pngAs the final step in the lifecycle of a nuclear installation, the decommissioning process requires the development of a dedicated management system, as well as a review of and modification of the approaches that were used during the operational lifetime of the installation. As the number of power plants and other nuclear installations facing their decommissioning phase has risen during the recent decades, attention to this “end of life” period becomes more and more important to the nuclear community. As a consequence, the need for knowledge and skills on how to organize decommissioning, on how to proceed with the technical operations and on how to implement an adequate radiation protection program is becoming apparent.

The main objective of the training course is to familiarize the participants with the essential requirements for managing a decommissioning project and to share experience from ongoing decommissioning projects.

deco1.pngCourse topics

  • Legal and regulatory framework
  • Strategies for decommissioning
  • Decommissioning project management
  • Safety aspects and management  
  • Inventory, facility and site characterization
  • Case studies (BR3, Belgonucléaire,Thetis)
  • Dismantling operations
  • Optimization tools
  • Dose follow-up: individual and workplace monitoring
  • Material management and characterization
  • Final survey plan and safety report

Training methodology

Our course aims to bring the participants as close as possible to decommissioning practices by sharing experiences from ongoing projects. The lecturers are SCK•CEN scientists and engineers with solid expertise in this field; they can thus directly transfer their theoretical knowledge and practical experience to the participants. The course exists of theoretical sessions, complemented by practical exercises allowing participants to use optimization tools, and field visits. Ample time is foreseen for discussion.

Target audience

All stakeholders such as regulators, plant managers and operators, health physicists, technical service organizations (already involved in decommissioning operations or planning such operations in the coming months of years) will benefit from our decommissioning courses.

Our experience

SCK•CEN, as nuclear research centre, operated BR3 - the first European PWR - for more than 20 years. At the end of the eighties, the decision was taken to proceed to the definitive shutdown of BR3 and a decommissioning project was launched. Based on the experience gained during this European pilot project, and taking advantage of our involvement as advisory body for the decommissioning of the University of Ghent's Thetis research reactor and Belgonucléaire's MOX fuel production facility, the SCK•CEN Academy has developed a training course on decommissioning nuclear installations. It focusses on strategies to be implemented, economic issues, technical options for cutting operations as well as for the waste management and the radiation protection programs.

Course venue

This course will take place at the SCK•CEN Lakehouse, Boeretang 201, 2400 Mol, Belgium.

Register for this course

Revision of the 5-day radiation protection course

RP1.pngThe perceived growth of the use of ionizing radiation in different application fields, such as medical, industrial, research and other sectors, requires an advanced understanding of radiation protection in order to protect workers, the public and the environment from the potential hazards of ionizing radiation. With this in mind, maintaining a high level of competence in radiation protection, as well as adequate knowledge management and ensuring a continuous supply of suitably well-trained personnel are crucial for ensuring the future safe use of ionizing radiation and the development of new technologies in a safe manner.

For several years, SCK•CEN has offered a 5-day training course on radiation protection, in Dutch, French and English. Traditionally these courses take place in the autumn.  Taking into account the many requests to introduce more practical work, we have revised the program and introduced one day of practical training. Participants can bring their own measuring devices, 
enhancing the effectiveness of the training.

This training course provides participants with the basic knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to work with ionizing radiation in a safe way. 

RP2.pngCourse topics

  • Radioactivity and nuclear physics
  • Interaction of radiation with matter
  • Applications of ionizing radiation
  • Radon and increased natural radioactivity
  • Ethical aspects of radiological risks
  • Incidents and accidents – emergency planning
  • Biological effects of ionizing radiation
  • Dosimetry concepts, radiation and dose measurements
  • Practical use of measuring devices
  • Legislation and practice of the ALARA philosophy

Target audience

The training is intended for people who are directly or indirectly faced with applications of radioactivity in their professional environment, and it may be an interesting addition to the expertise required of technicians and managers alike.

Course venue

This course will take place at the SCK•CEN Lakehouse, Boeretang 201, 2400 Mol, Belgium.

Register for the French course in radiation protection | September 29 - October 3, 2014

Register for the Dutch course in radiation protection | October 13 - 17, 2014

Register for the English course in radiation protection | November 17 - 21, 2014 


ENETRAPIIIENETRAP III deals with education and training in radiation protection. Attention is given to both policy related matters and implementation of effective training courses. On June 4 the kick-off meeting of ENETRAP III took place at SCK•CEN's premises in Brussels. Sixteen representatives of the thirteen Consortium partners and the EC project officer discussed the final work plan and timetable that will form the basis of the work that will be carried out in the next four years. 

For a large number of applications in the medical, industrial, research and other sectors, a good understanding of radiation protection (RP) is fundamental in order to protect workers, the public and the environment from the potential risks of ionizing radiation. With this in mind, building and maintaining an advanced level of competence in RP, ensuring sufficiently well-trained personnel are available, and organizing adequate knowledge management, are crucial. Effective education and training (E&T) is a critical element in these matters, helping to prevent the decline in expertise and to meet future demands. 

ENETRAP III adds new and innovative topics to existing E&T approaches in RP. It will further develop the European reference training scheme with additional specialized modules for Radiation Protection Experts working in medical, geological disposal and NPP. It will implement the ECVET principles and will establish targeted assistance from regulators that will play a crucial role in the endorsement of the proposed courses and learning objectives.

ENETRAP III will also introduce a train-the-trainer strategy. All organized pilot sessions will be open to young and more experienced students and professionals. In this way, ENETRAP III aims to contribute to increasing the attractiveness of nuclear careers and to lifelong learning activities. 
A web-based platform containing all relevant information about E&T in RP will facilitate efficient knowledge transfer and capacity building in Europe and beyond. 

ENETRAP III will also propose guidance for implementing E&T for Radiation Protection Experts and Officers, hereby providing extremely important assistance to all Member States who are expected to incorporate the Euratom Basic Safety Standards (BSS) requirements into their national legislations. 

Moreover, ENETRAP III will demonstrate the practical feasibility of previously developed concepts for mutual recognition and thus provide leading examples in Europe demonstrating effective borderless mobility.  

For all these activities ENETRAP III will interact strongly with all stakeholders, i.e. end-users, E&T providers, legal authorities, and other relevant international organizations, groups and networks dealing with E&T in radiation protection.

The project can be followed up on the project website.

Initiatives for high school pupils and their teachers

highschool2.pngThe SCK•CEN Academy has several initiatives relevant for high school pupils and their teachers. Thematic visits are organized for 5th and 6th year high school students, giving pupils and teachers more insight into e.g.  the impact of radioactivity ion man and environment, nuclear reactor technology, and research on radioactive waste management.

In addition we organize teacher welcome days on Wednesday afternoons where the latest nuclear research findings can be discussed with our experts. These events are organized in Dutch and French, but can also be given in English when requested. More information about the available dates for visits and the teachers' days can be found on

Upcoming courses and events

Upcoming courses

  • courses.pngSeptember 22, 2014 | Towards an effective protection and monitoring of the eye lens | Continuous Professional Development in Radiation Protection in the medical area
  • September 29 - October 3, 2014 | Radioprotection | 5 jours
  • October 6 - 10, 2014 | Decommissioning of nuclear installations
  • October 13 - 17, 2014 | Stralingsbescherming | 5 dagen
  • November 17 - 21, 2014 | Radiation protection | 5 days
  • November 17 - 18, 2014 | VISIPLAN training course

Day of the PhD's

  • October 23, 2014 | Day of the PhD's

Topical Days