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Researcher pyroprocessing / pyrochemistry

Belgian Nuclear Research Centre (SCK CEN)
Boeretang 200, Belgium
Posting live until
6 Apr 2024

Job Details

Researcher pyroprocessing / pyrochemistry

  • unique chance to be part of a successful and dedicated development team specialized in radiochemistry and process chemistry on semi-industrial scale;
  • you contribute to the development of state of the art process installations for high-temperature (electro)chemistry integrated in glove boxes;
  • you have a shared responsibility for the development of novel pyrochemical processes and the design of the according process installations;
  • degree of Master or PhD in the domains of Chemical Engineering (Technology), Chemistry or Nuclear Technology.


Will you play an important role in climate-neutral energy production?

SCK CEN wants to play an important role in climate-neutral energy production. That’s why we want to pave the way for innovative Small Modular Reactors (SMRs).  By 2035-2040, we aim to build a Belgian demonstrator of the first lead-cooled SMR. The demonstration model will be developed in collaboration with national and international industrial partners.

Closing the nuclear fuel cycle is essential to reach the full benefit of waste minimization and resource optimization of a new generation of SMRs. Pyroprocessing is a promising technology to purify Spent Nuclear Fuel (SNF) applying an electrochemical separation in high-temperature molten salts. The technique allows processing of short-cooled SNF with an intense radiation level due to the inherent radiolysis resistance of molten salts. This enables fuel cycles of limited life times. Additionally, pyroprocessing produces highly proliferation resistant product streams, less radioactive waste and requires small footprint installations allowing on-site reprocessing.

Are you looking for a new professional challenge where you can develop your talents and lift your skills to a higher level? Do you like working in a team with enthusiastic colleagues? Do not hesitate and send in your candidature.

As a researcher pyroprocessing in the radiochemistry team you will contribute to the development of state of the art pyrochemical processes to support the development of Small Modular Reactors (SMR).

Your detailed responsibilities are:

  • you gather knowledge on high-temperature (electro)chemical processes through scientific literature, participation to conferences and networking, and by performing experimental research;
  • you design and implement innovative chemical process installations in collaboration with the internal design office at SCK CEN;
  • you organize and perform chemical experiments and determine, optimize and validate chemical process parameters;
  • you lead the safety studies and risk assessments towards operational licenses and permits required to get permission to conduct the experiments;
  • you critically analyze and process experimental results in internal reports, scientific publications and presentations at international conferences and project meetings;
  • you collaborate with a team of researchers, engineers and lab technicians;
  • you efficiently interact with suppliers and stakeholders;
  • you apply your gathered expertise to support other projects and researchers within the radiochemistry team.

To join this frontier, you’ll need

  • degree of Master or PhD in the domains of Chemical Engineering (Technology), Chemistry or Nuclear Technology;
  • expertise in electrochemistry or molten salt chemistry is a strong asset;
  • experience with design and development of chemical process installations or experience with inert atmosphere glove boxes is an asset;
  • willing to work with radioactive materials in controlled areas;
  • creative, result-oriented and independent;
  • team player with good organizational and personal skills;
  • strong in summarizing, reporting and presenting scientific data in a comprehensible way;
  • good knowledge of English is essential, knowledge of Dutch is an asset;
  • contract for minimum 4 years (extension possible).

Deadline 28/04/2024


Belgian digital

We explore. Driven by our passion for science. Boosted by our unique infrastructure. We sound out the frontiers. We expand our knowledge in various nuclear areas. However many horizons we may explore, we always pursue the same objective: developing innovative applications for society.

Why work for us
At SCK CEN, we are on the forefront. By developing new knowledge and innovative applications, we move the line of what nuclear science can do for society. Each day, we are driven by a relentless ambition to build our expertise and achieve our goals. We are immersed in a world of unique technology, open discussion and discovery, together with other capable and curious minds.

SCK CEN works actively on the design and construction of a new multi-purpose research plant: MYRRHA (, which stands for Multi-purpose HYbrid Research Reactor for High-tech Applications. MYRRHA is a versatile research infrastructure but above all, unique. It is the world’s first research reactor driven by a particle accelerator. The special feature of this unique configuration – Accelerator Driven System (ADS) – is the “subcritical” core of the reactor. The core does not have enough fissile material to spontaneously keep the chain reaction going.

So that’s why we have to build the most reliable super conducting high-power proton linac in the world. A linac can be designed with fewer interruptions in the beam’s proton flow than a cyclotron. While the accelerator will be almost 300 m long and reach 600 MeV proton beam energy in the final configuration, the first stage is limited to 100 MeV. This project part is called MINERVA and is in full development. It will allow the demonstration of the required reliability concepts and at the same time it will be used to deliver beam to users in two experimental irradiation facilities.

The aim is to be able to beam-commission the installation in 2027 so as to start with the development of innovative medical radioisotopes and perform fundamental research in physics. In the next phase, we will aim for an energy level of 600 MeV. In the third phase, the research reactor will be built. So we have a lot of work to do.

What we are looking for

Are you searching for a challenge that contributes to solving some of society’s most important issues, such as closing the nuclear fuel cycle, transforming the lives of cancer patients or conducting fundamental physics research? Don’t look any further and apply.

Mol, Brussels, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium

Number of employees

Main areas of research
Nuclear, physics

Positions recently recruited for
We have recruited to a variety of positions in the accelerator field: vacuum engineers, power converter engineers, beam diagnostics engineers. We are now looking to recruit LLRF engineers, beam diagnostic engineers, supply chain manager and electrical engineers

How to apply
Apply online at

Closing date
All year round


Company info
+32 (0)14 33 83 09
Boeretang 200

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