The founding of the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre (SCK CEN) in 1952 enabled Belgium to establish a prominent position in the development of nuclear energy and research into peaceful nuclear applications. Initially with the support of the United States, but since the 1960s increasingly on its own initiative, the SCK CEN - as a public utility agency - has played a pioneering role in research into reactor technology, the fissile material cycle, the production of radioisotopes, the storage of radioactive waste and nuclear safety. The history of the SCK CEN illustrates the ambitions and achievements of the Belgian nuclear program and Belgium’s enduring impact on the international stage. The book also hones in on the wider political context, the vested interests of Belgian industry, the growing tensions between the linguistic communities, the at-times laborious European collaboration, the consequences of state reform in Belgium, the creation of a national science policy, and the changing perceptions towards nuclear energy in the public sphere.
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