It is the first time in decades that a permit has been granted for the construction of a new nuclear reactor in the Netherlands. A spokesperson for the ANVS informs RTL Nieuws that it will take ‘several years’ before the new reactor is actually in place. “It is a step in the process. It is one of the permits, but an important one.”
The new Pallas reactor must replace the outdated High Flux Reactor in Petten, which is about sixty years old and still operational. As soon as the new reactor is finished, the ANVS must again issue a permit to actually start using it.
Just like the old High Flux reactor, the new reactor will produce medical and industrial isotopes and conduct nuclear technological research. Petten is one of the most important suppliers of medical isotopes in the world. With the new reactor, the Netherlands will be able to continue producing those isotopes for at least the next fifty years.
Medical isotopes are radioactive substances that are used, for example, in diagnosis by means of scans in cancer patients, people with cardiovascular diseases and patients with infections. They are also used for the irradiation of metastatic cancer.
Rijkswaterstaat has also granted a permit. This is necessary because the reactor will use water from the Noordhollandsch Kanaal as cooling water. The cooling water is non-radioactive and is discharged into the North Sea.
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