20 Years of ALARA Management, Research and Development at the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre SCK•CEN

Frank Hardeman, Pascal Deboodt, Philippe Antoine, Fernand Vermeersch

Research outputpeer-review


The Belgian Nuclear Research Centre SCK•CEN performs research and offers services in the domains of nuclear safety and radiation protection. It operates major large facilities such as research reactors and hot laboratories, it develops innovative nuclear infrastructures and decommissions and dismantles old facilities. After a reorganisation in 1991, an enhanced safety management was implemented, including a systematic ALARA approach. Staff was trained in the ALARA approach. A case study was developed: the dismantling of BR3, the first PWR reactor at the European continent. An ALARA management system including an ALARA-committee, an ALARA-procedure and an ALARA database was put into place, taking into account the complex mixture of routine tasks linked to the operation of larger facilities, and many unique, innovative tasks characteristic of a research environment. To support the ALARA policy, a dedicated tool called "VISIPLAN 3D ALARA planning tool" to assess doses prior to an operation in a radiation environment was developed. Technological developments such as improved electronic dosimeters were implemented. Conceptual work has led to a holistic approach of radiation protection, nuclear and industrial safety, including waste management and cultural aspects. At present, an extension towards enhancing an adequate security culture is being made.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-96
JournalAnnalen van de Belgische Vereniging voor Stralingsbescherming / Annales de l'association Belge de radioprotection
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 2012

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