Early in 2012, Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) was awarded substantial funding by the Dutch government to undertake the OYSTER programme. Its preparatory phase is now well under way. A European tender procedure for the necessary modifications to the reactor was initiated at the end of 2012, and in mid-2014 the contract was awarded to one of the bidders. The precise details of the work required are now being finalised with the winning contractor. Meanwhile, the mandatory licensing procedures are also being prepared. The work is due to be completed in Q1 2020.

Prior to the licensing procedure, an environmental impact assessment (EIA) has to be conducted. TU Delft formally notified the relevant authority, the Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs, of its intention to undertake this exercise in April 2013, by means of an official “Notice of a Proposed Environmental Impact Assessment”. This document can be downloaded from here.