Press Release

High Flux Reactor not started - update March 3rd

03 March 2022

Update March 3rd

The HFR did not start up on 20 January 2022 due to a leak in a water system. This is a system that supplies water to test facilities, which are located on the outside of the reactor core. The leak was located in the reactor hall, within the so-called containment. There was no risk to nuclear safety, man or the environment.

The HFR has been working on a solution to repair the installation. This solution has since been approved by the internal safety committee and has been submitted to the regulator ANVS. NRG has started to restore all functions by modifying the piping of the cooling system. These modifications also require an update of the HFR safety report. This report is linked to the license and therefore an amendment to the license is required before the reactor can be restarted.

More than 30,000 patients worldwide are treated every day with medical isotopes from the HFR. In order to resume this social task, NRG has therefore requested that the license be made effective immediately on publication. This will allow NRG to start up the HFR after obtaining the necessary permission from the regulator ANVS.

NRG expects the reactor to start up on 17 March 2022.


Update 8th February

The following update on the progress was provided by the HFR project team. The origin of the technical failure has been identified and the root cause analysis has been performed and will be submitted to the Dutch competent authority ANVS. 

The project team is progressing well and a solution for restoring functionality has been chosen. The plan, including supporting safety analyses, is being prepared and will be submitted to ANVS.  After approval of the plan by ANVS, the chosen solution will be implemented, restoring full functionality to the system.  

NRG informs its customers about the progress of the situation. 

Update 2nd February

In this update more about the progress on inspections and options for restoring functionality. The endoscopic inspections of the difficult to access piping have been performed. The observations so far give a strong indication for the origin of a leak, and provides important information for assessing the root cause.

Parallel to this, the project team is working on various possible solutions to be able to safely put the HFR back into operation. These options will be worked out in more detail this week and risks mapped out, based on which a solution direction can probably be selected in the course of the week. After that, a schedule will be made and the proposal will be submitted tot the supervisory authorities. NRG informs its customers and relations about the progress of the situation.

Update 25th January

This week the inspections will be continued. We will keep you informed about the progress, and expect you to provide more information next week. We expect to provide more information next week.

Information 21st January

During the start-up preparation of the reactor NRG discovered a technical failure in the cooling system of the reactor. Consequently, the reactor was not started.

At this moment, NRG cannot provide an indication for HFR re-start. NRG informs Nuclear Medicine Europe (NMEU),  the industry association that brings together medical isotopes manufacturers and customers, allowing mitigating measures for the continuity of supply of medical isotopes to be taken. NRG expects to provide more information next week.

The HFR projectteam investigates the root-cause. The status and progress of the investigation is reported by NRG to the competent authorities. There is no risk for staff and environment.



For more information please contact

Cora Blankendaal 1

Cora Blankendaal
Press Officer