OYSTER: the technology and the changes

The core

The RIDs’ nuclear reactor is not designed to generate electricity, but to produce neutrons. These can be used in a wide range of research. In fact, the reactor is nothing more or less than a neutron source. And it is not particularly powerful. Its current thermal power is just 2 MW. By comparison, the figure for the nuclear power station at Borssele is 1500 MW.

Cold neutrons

As part of the OYSTER programme, the RID’s neutron source is being connected to a system which will cool the neutrons it produces to -250 °C. At this extremely low temperature, it is easier for our scientists to “guide” the particles and so obtain better research results. 

Measuring equipment

In tandem with this change, we are developing new measuring equipment for use with the cold neutrons we will now be producing. These devices will allow researchers to take measurements which have never before been possible.

Hundredfold improvement

Thanks to the changes being made under the OYSTER programme, scientists using the RID will be able to take measurements a hundred times faster or better than is currently the case. This will encourage more cutting-edge research, accelerate innovation and so benefit the Dutch knowledge economy.

Foto van de kern