Nuclear Netherlands consists of seven Dutch nuclear companies and organisations: COVRA, EPZ, NRG, PALLAS, Reactor Instituut Delft, Urenco and SHINE. The society wants to make a balanced contribution to the nuclear debate whilst highlighting the wide application of nuclear technology. Nuclear technology has many applications. From energy to food safety and from medical treatments to space exploration, nuclear is everywhere. This website presents background information and news about the international nuclear industry.
The Central Organisation For Radioactive Waste [COVRA] is the sole company in the Netherlands tasked with collecting, processing and storing all radioactive waste. All businesses in the Netherlands which have a permit pursuant to the Dutch Nuclear Energy Act [Kernenergiewet] to work with radioactive substances are obliged to tender their radioactive waste to COVRA. In order to implement its care task for radioactive waste, COVRA has realised a storage and processing facility in Zeeland, at the East Vlissingen harbour grounds in the municipality of Borsele.
COVRA is the sole point of contact for Dutch radioactive waste. As a knowledge centre it conducts research and develops and shares it knowledge. COVRA contributes toward drawing up the Dutch rules for radioactive waste and considers it important to put its knowledge and capacity to use, also where national and international legislation and regulations in respect of radioactive waste are concerned.
COVRA is proud of what it does and enjoys showing off its achievements. COVRA is open and transparent where all its activities are concerned, and forms part of the local living environment. COVRA is engaged, effective and service-oriented. The organisation aims to provide practical solutions for customers.
More information on COVRA is available at their website.
EPZ is the operator of the only nuclear power plant in the Netherlands: Borssele Nuclear Power Plant.
Nuclear energy does not release any greenhouse gases or particulate emissions. In a relatively small area, Borssele produces just as much climate-neutral electricity as a wind farm with some 600 wind turbines. The nuclear power plant produces an average of 500 MW of electricity. That's enough for a city like Amsterdam, including all the infrastructure such as trams, trains and (air) ports.
The nuclear power plant has been producing safe, climate-neutral electricity for more than 45 years. By continuously improving safety, Borssele nuclear power plant is still one of the top 25 percent safest nuclear power plants in the world. By expanding safety systems, the plant has been made 1,000 times safer since it was built in 1973.
Nuclear energy from Borssele is affordable and can compete well with electricity from sun and wind. Nuclear power receives no subsidy. Nuclear energy has sustainable characteristics such as a closed waste system and very limited use of raw materials.
All waste is processed and safely stored at COVRA in Vlissingen. The volume of high level waste from 45 years Borssele is low. It fits (so to speak) into two sea containers.
One load of fuel can be used to generate energy for four years. Because 95 percent of the spent fuel is then recycled, very little natural uranium is needed from mining.
EPZ is an important employer in a high-tech sector in Zeeland. Some 500 people work directly for the nuclear power plant, while EPZ also provides another 500 indirect jobs. The nuclear power plant has a licence until 2034. We are regularly asked whether the nuclear power plant may continue to operate for a longer period of time. That is a political decision. If the nuclear power plant closes after 2034, it will be dismantled until a green meadow remains. That too will provide employment until around 2050.
More information on EPZ is available at their website.
The production of medical isotopes is the primary activity of the Petten reactor, which is managed by NRG. NRG is a global market leader in the production of medical isotopes. It strives to develop new applications of medical isotopes used to treat life-threatening diseases. NRG carries out this ambition in collaboration with UMC's and pharmaceutical companies. NRG is an internationally operating provider of nuclear services. It conducts nuclear technological research, is a consultant on the safety and reliability of nuclear power plants and provides services in the field of radiation protection. It also carries out research for governments aimed at developing knowledge about nuclear technology. NRG operates the High Flux Reactor, which is owned by the European Union. All of NRG's almost 700 employees have expert knowledge and work in a highly innovative way. The company works for and with partners in the healthcare sector, the energy market, the industrial sector, the government and the science sector.
More information about NRG is available at their website.
PALLAS is the new medical isotopes reactor that will replace the old HFR-reactor in Petten. The arrival of the PALLAS-reactor will enable the Netherlands to continue to help millions of people and even save lives for the next 50 years. PALLAS will start with activities to produce medical isotopes from 2025 for diagnosis, therapy, but also (medical) nuclear research.
More information on PALLAS is available at their website.
Reactor Instituut Delft
Together with the Radiation, Science & Technology department, the Reactor Institute Delft (RID) at TU Delft has been the Dutch knowledge centre for radiation-related research and education for more than 50 years. With our knowledge and expertise we make an important contribution to fundamental and applied scientific research.
Research energy, materials and health
The research focuses on various areas, such as sustainable energy, materials and health, both internationally and nationally. The broad scope of the research ranges from medical isotopes for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, batteries and solar cells to better steels.
Research reactor and facilities
The RID manages a unique research facility: a research reactor. It is a small swimming pool reactor (2 MW). The reactor is not designed to supply energy, but serves as a neutron and positron source for research instruments. There are also radiochemical laboratories. The RID is an expert in the safe handling of radiation. We share this knowledge through consultations and courses at all levels.
Educational offer for students and professionals
In addition to the education offered to students at TU Delft, the RID also provides radiation protection courses at various levels for professionals.
More information on the RID is available at their website.
Urenco Nederland enriches uranium for customers all over the world. The enriched uranium goes into fuel rods so that nuclear power plants can use it to generate CO2-free electricity. We also enrich various stable isotopes for medical, industrial and research applications at our site in Almelo. More than 100,000 patient treatments with our isotopes take place worldwide every year.
We are part of an international group with sister companies in Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. Our headquarters are in Stoke Poges, near London. The four enrichment sites of the Urenco Group have a combined market share of approximately 30%.
More information on Urenco is available at their website.
SHINE aims to lead the transformation to a world where nuclear fusion provides clean, abundant and commercially viable energy, while solving problems in industrial manufacturing, healthcare and nuclear waste. To this end, we design, manufacture and operate innovative nuclear fusion technology with near-term commercial applications, such as advanced industrial inspection of (strategic) materials and the production of medical isotopes. At the same time, we are developing possible future applications in nuclear waste recycling and fusion-based energy.
With the arrival of SHINE in the dutch city Veendam and the production of diagnostic and therapeutic medical isotopes on site, European patients will be able to be examined and treated increasingly reliably and cost-effectively. This will significantly improve the quality of life for many millions of patients each year.
Worldwide, cancer and cardiovascular disease are the main causes of death. The detection and treatment of these diseases is therefore extremely important. In order to diagnose and treat these diseases at an early stage, increasing use is being made of medical isotopes; these are small quantities of radioactive substances with a medical application. This makes it possible to detect and treat (metastasized) cancers and cardiovascular diseases, but also many other diseases, at an increasingly earlier stage.
The importance of security of supply of medical isotopes is evident. However, the production techniques used to date cannot sufficiently guarantee this security of supply for a variety of reasons. The good news is now that the SHINE technique, and its arrival in Veendam, will lead to guaranteed security of supply of both diagnostic and therapeutic medical isotopes for European patients in the short term.
More information on SHINE is available at their website.
Some interesting facts:
- In terms of safety, our only nuclear power plant, in Borssele, is one of the top 25 plants in the world.
- Urenco in Almelo is one of the world's biggest suppliers of nuclear fuel.
- With its Higher Education Reactor, Delft University of Technology is part of the global chain for fundamental and applied neutron research.
- The High Flux Reactor in Petten is one of the biggest suppliers of raw materials for cancer treatment in the world.
- Stichting PALLAS is building a state-of-the-art multifunctional nuclear reactor that is suitable for medical isotope production and conducting nuclear technological research.
- The COVRA in Vlissingen stores high-level radioactive waste in a unique and safe way.
- SHINE uses an innovative accelerator technique developed in-house for the production of both diagnostic and therapeutic medical isotopes, instead of the reactor technique used until now.
Nuclear Netherlands, a healthy nuclear industry with a solid international reputation.