ANVS Granted The Construction Licence For The PALLAS Reactor

On 15th February 2023, the Dutch regulator Nuclear and Radiation Protection Authority (ANVS) granted the Nuclear Energy Act licence for the construction of the PALLAS reactor. The licence becomes valid on 31 March pending any appeals.

After a long preliminary process during which all safety documentation was assessed by the ANVS, PALLAS submitted the applications to the ANVS and the Department of Public Works on 15 June 2022.

PALLAS warmly welcomed this new milestone, which marks another step towards the realisation of the PALLAS reactor.

Rijkswaterstaat has also issued the Water Act permit for the intake of cooling water from the North Holland Canal and the discharge of cooling water into the North Sea.

On March 2022, the Environmental Service Noord-Holland Noord granted a permit for the construction of the PALLAS reactor and for the realization of the Nuclear Health Centre (NHC) under the Nature Conservation Act.

Then, the preparatory work for the plant, which will replace the ageing high-flux reactor (HFR) at Petten, began in November.

Read more on PALLAS Press Release.

Medical applications of nuclear technology are used all over the world. Every year, 30 million people benefit from a diagnostic procedure or treatment by nuclear medicine for at least 60 different pathologies – and these numbers are steadily increasing. New facilities are crucial in order to meet the rising global demand.

Last year, the European Nuclear Society dedicated several events and activities focusing on nuclear medical applications and radioisotopes production and supply. This one has been also the key topic of the Panel Discussion, opening the last European Research Reactor Conference (RRFM) in Budapest, and it will be a fundamental debate also at the upcoming RRFM 2023 in Antwerp.

Furthermore, ENS and the European Supply Agency (ESA, ENS Member) organise the Special Session “Beating Cancer – Turning the tide with medical isotopes” next 17 April, in Antwerp and Online. The event will give an insight into diagnoses and therapies using medical isotopes and nuclear medicine in Europe. We will shed light on exciting developments of radiotherapeutics in recent years, its contribution to personalised medicine, and many other key topics. Further details and registration are available here:

In Europe, four reactors are responsible for the vast majority of medical isotope production – the High Flux Reactor in The Netherlands, the BR2 reactor in Belgium, the LVR15 in the Czech Republic and the Maria reactor in Poland.

The chain is vulnerable because little spare capacity is available, and the mentioned reactors require increasing maintenance. So, a prolonged unplanned reactor outage often leads to problems in the supply of medical isotopes, which is felt by hospitals and patients. In these situations, other reactors are asked to step in, where possible.