IAEA Director General visits the High Flux Reactor and the PALLAS construction site

IAEA Director General visits the High Flux Reactor and the PALLAS construction site

26 April 2024

IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi visits the High Flux Reactor (HFR) and the PALLAS construction site. Worldwide each day more than 30,000 patients are helped with the medical isotopes produced by the reactor. To secure the production and availability of the essential ingredients of nuclear medicine, NRG|PALLAS is preparing the construction of the new PALLAS reactor that is expected to be operational around 2030. DG Rafael Mariano Grossi, IAEA: “I’m honoured to witness of the start of a new nuclear era in the Netherlands with the construction of the PALLAS-reactor, which will help save many lives around the world.” Bertholt Leeftink, CEO NRG|PALLAS: “To secure the supply of medical isotopes after 2030 the realisation of the PALLAS-reactor is of vital importance.”

During the visit, Mr Grossi was informed about new developments in the field of medical isotopes for the treatment of patients that are diagnosed with cancer. The development has been enormous and the collaboration with hospitals accelerates the treatment of thousands of patients for a longer life with better quality. To seek further cooperation, Mr Grossi introduced the IAEA Rays of Hope initiative that was launched in early 2022 aiming to help countries increase access to cancer care by establishing or expanding their capabilities including medical imaging, nuclear medicine and radiotherapy.

To continue this life-saving task by NRG|PALLAS the PALLAS-reactor is being prepared and approaches its next phase: the construction of the PALLAS-reactor itself. At the construction site of the PALLAS-reactor Mr Grossi was informed about the progress of the project. At this moment the preparatory work around the pit and foundation are ongoing, and Mr Grossi witnessed the underwater works. This type of work is typical for building in The Netherlands and requires special knowledge to realize construction safely.

As part of his tour in the Netherlands this week, Mr Grossi visits a few nuclear facilities across the country. Besides the visit to the High Flux Reactor and the PALLAS construction site in Petten, Mr. Grossi also visited Urenco in Almelo - an international supplier of enrichment services and fuel cycle products for the civil nuclear industry.

Throughout the history of nuclear, the IAEA has provided many safety standards based on the knowledge and experiences from nuclear organisations around the world. National regulatory bodies use many of these safety standards, such as guidelines and requirements, as conditions to the nuclear license of each particular nuclear organisation within their countries. The IAEA aims towards a world of safe nuclear operations, and tries to achieve this by collaborative efforts together with the national regulatory bodies, for example through review missions.


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Cora Blankendaal
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