Inauguration of two facilities at VKI

Inauguration of the sloshing tableIn the presence of the State Minister Philippe Courard, the VKI and the SCK•CEN inaugurate this morning two unique facilities: a sloshing table reproducing the seismic activity (Shakespeare) and a water model (MYRRHABelle) of the research infrastructure Myrrha.

Myrrha is a multifunctional research infrastructure developed by "le Centre d’Etude de l’Energie Nucléaire" (SCK•CEN). Myrrha is the innovative and unique high energy accelerator and Lead-Bismuth-Eutectic cooled reactor project, initiated by the SCK•CEN of Mol, and supported by BELSPO.

From everywhere in Belgium, scientists contribute to the development of this research infrastructure. The Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL) and IBA work on accelerator, the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KUL) on the infrastructure of radioactive beam ISOL, the Vrije Universiteit Brussels on robotics, the Universiteit Gent on materials, ... and VKI gives his expertise in fluid dynamics.

In the frame of MYRRHA, the VKI supported by Belspo has launched in 2011 the DEMOCRITOS research program. The VKI is involved in the following five dedicated studies:

  • The aero-structural design of the Myrrha primary pumps, considering the severe limitations on erosion and cavitation.
  • The thermo-hydraulic analysis of the Myrrha reactor. A water-scaled model of the primary circuit allows high-resolution flow field and temperature characterization for forced, mixed and natural convection regimes. The design of this water-scaled model, named MyrrhaBelle, and its construction are completed.  
  • The experiments will allow the validation of numerical tools (CFD codes), currently under development. They will also be applied for the analysis of the thermal-hydraulic behavior of Lead-Bismuth Eutectic in MYRRHA.
  • -Due to the opaque nature of the liquid metal coolant, ultrasonic imaging systems can be useful to help the fuel loading process in the reactor pool and inspect the internal structures to ensure safe and proper operation of the reactor. Within this objective, the VKI has started the development of a method for the reconstruction of images based on the signal delivered by ultrasonic transducers. An experimental investigation will also start on the effect of thermal and velocity gradient on the propagation of ultrasonic waves. A new facility for this investigation is now operational.
  • The investigation on the consequences of liquid sloshing due to seismic activity on the different internal structures of the MYRRHA reactor is conducted experimentally and numerically. The test campaign continues by substituting water with liquid metal. A 3D sloshing table has been constructed and is operational since the end of 2013.


On the picture, from left to right: Mr. Jean-Pierre Contzen (Chairman of the VKI Board of Directors), Mr. Hamid Aït Abderrahim (Myrrha Project Director), Mr. Philippe Courard (Secrétaire d'Etat à la Politique scientique), Mr. Jean Muylaert (VKI Director), Mr. Philippe Mettens (Chairman of the Board of Directors, BELSPO), Mr. Derrick Gosselin (Chairman of the SCK•CEN Board of Directors)

Shakespeare: sloshing table Skakespeare: The sloshing table
Water model: MyrrhaBelle


MYRRHABelle: the water model

Twitter Facebook Twitter Subscribe




ESA          LEDITH