|On Monday 14 September, the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre had the special honour of welcoming Chinese Vice Prime Minister, Liu Yandong. She was accompanied by various (Vice) Ministers, including the Chinese Minister for Education and the Vice Minister of Science and Research. The Federal Secretary of State for Science Policy, Elke Sleurs, was also present.
Before visiting the European Commission, the 50-strong Chinese delegation wanted to visit the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre. The Vice Prime Minister and the Ministers paid a short visit to the GUINEVERE project. This unique installation is an operational scale model of MYRRHA, the innovative research infrastructure developed by the SCK•CEN.
The Belgian Nuclear Research Centre presented the HADES underground laboratory where, in cooperation with NIRAS, research is conducted 225 metres underground into the permanent storage of highly active and long-lived waste in clay. The collaboration with the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) in the field of nuclear fuel and the activities of the SCK•CEN Academy for Nuclear Science and Technology were also discussed.
SCK•CEN is particularly honoured with the visit of this high-level Chinese delegation. Eric van Walle, Director-General: "We consider this visit a special privilege and a confirmation of the international reputation of our research and infrastructure. The meeting with the Chinese Vice Prime Minister and the Ministers will undoubtedly strengthen the good contacts we have already had with the Chinese nuclear institutes over the last 35 years."
Vice Prime Minister, Liu Yandong, also expressed a desire to further expand the collaboration between China and Belgium, and SCK•CEN in particular.