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4th Heavy Metal School 2018

Heavy liquid metal (HLM) coolants offer new perspectives for the development of innovative nuclear systems for materials research, nuclear waste transmutation and energy production. The Belgian Nuclear Research Centre (SCK•CEN) is at the forefront of HLM nuclear technology worldwide with the development of the MYRRHA accelerator driven system.

During this summer school, participants will gain insight into the state-of-the-art of research focused to the development of MYRRHA and other HLM-based nuclear systems.  The summer school will cover several aspects of HLM technology that are essential for the engineering design and safety of nuclear systems.

Lectures will be given by experts from SCK•CEN and other internationally renowned research organizations. They will cover the most advanced HLM-based nuclear systems and deal with the chemical, thermal hydraulic and materials issues and challenges in instrumentation and design. Complementary to the lectures, visits are foreseen to various experimental facilities that were constructed at SCK•CEN in support of the MYRRHA project.

Throughout the course week, participants will have the opportunity to brainstorm on best practices and selections of technologies for HLM cooled nuclear systems in interactive sessions with the experts. Places for this summer school are limited to 25. Participants are invited to send in an abstract for a poster presentation on their research project.


  • Introduction:  the history of HLM-based nuclear systems and the design of the most developed HLM facilities will be introduced.
  • Chemistry: you will be introduced to the various sources of impurities in HLM and to methods for their purification, to oxygen monitoring and control systems, and to the chemistry of radioactive impurities.
  • Materials: you will learn to select materials for structural and functional components of reactors and get acquainted with irradiation damage processes and with liquid metal induced corrosion and its mitigation strategies. 
  • Thermal hydraulics: module will start from the fundamentals of heat transfer in liquid metals to provide insight in the thermal hydraulic phenomena occurring in the fuel assembly and primary system. Experimental and numerical tools for the system safety analysis will also be covered.
  • Instrumentation: module you will get an overview of measurement techniques that can be used in liquid metals and focus in more detail on ultrasonic measurements.

Metal and liquids – from a different perspective

As a research center specializing in heavy liquid metal technology, it seems more than a coincidence that SCK•CEN is neighbor to one of the most successful Heavy Metal festivals in the world: the Graspop Metal Meeting (GMM). The GMM begins when the HLM summer school ends. Every (paying) participant will receive a standard ticket for Friday June 18, 2018 to enjoy metal and liquids at this unique festival. Furthermore, the winner of the poster prize will receive a combi VIP ticket for the festival.

This summer school is aimed at PhD students, post-docs and professionals with a particular interest in the domain of HLM technologies.

Registration deadline: May 28 2018

Registration fee: 1,200 euros

The registration fee includes:

  • participation to the summer school
  • lunches and coffee breaks
  • a welcome reception on Monday evening June 18, 2018
  • a “behind the scenes” technical tour of the Graspop festival
  • an entrance ticket for Graspop for Friday June 22, 2018 for every paying participant
  • a hard-copy of the slides used during the lessons.
18 June, 2018 to 22 June, 2018
SCK.CEN Lakehouse, Boeretang 201, 2400 Mol, Belgium.
Organizing Institution: 
SCK.CEN Belgian Nuclear Research Centre, Belgium