General information

PALLAS aims to realise a state of the art multifunctional nuclear reactor, which is suitable for mainly producing medical isotopes and for conducting nuclear technology research. This reactor will replace the current High Flux Reactor (HFR) in Petten (NL), which has been in operation for over fifty years and is approaching the end of its economic life.

An impression of the PALLAS-reactor, seen from the Belkmerweg.

An impression of the PALLAS-reactor, seen from the Belkmerweg.

From 2025 onwards PALLAS, one of the world’s leading suppliers of medical isotopes, will play a crucial role in the supply chain for radiopharmaceutical products worldwide and in nuclear technology research. With the radiopharmaceutical products millions of people with cancer and cardiovascular diseases can be diagnosed and treated.

As of December 16th 2013 the PALLAS organization is formally incorporated in an independent foundation: the Foundation Preparation Pallas reactor (PALLAS). This organization has the objective to acquire a licensed design, ready for construction, and for attracting funding for the second phase: the construction and commissioning.

In the first phase PALLAS is divided in two (internal) projects: the Design & Licensing Project and the Business Case & Financing Project. For this first phase the Ministry of Economic Affairs together with the Province of North Holland granted a loan of 80 million euros. The aim is to complete the preparation around 2020.

The second phase, the construction and commissioning of the PALLAS-reactor, will be funded privately and takes about five years. The lifetime of the new reactor is at least forty years. The PALLAS-reactor will seamlessly take over production of medical isotopes by the HFR.

For the role of designer (Designer Nuclear Island, DNI) PALLAS has selected the Argentinian-Dutch company ICHOS (INVAP and the TBI companies Croonwolter&dros – Mobilis). This DNI will deliver a state-of-the-art multifunctional reactor design. In addition, the DNI is expected to do the management of the construction and commissioning of the reactor.




+31 (0)88 20 24 024


Comeniusstraat 8 in Alkmaar, The Netherlands

Postal address
PO Box 1092, 1810 KB Alkmaar, The Netherlands

Medical isotopes
Medical isotopes

Supply security

In a period of fifty years ‘Petten’ has become the largest supplier of medical isotopes in Europe and the second largest in the world. These isotopes are produced by irradiating targets (such as uranium, lutetium, iridium), followed by post processing and delivery to hospitals. There they are applied in diagnostic (scans) and therapeutic (cancer therapy and pain relief) treatments.

It is expected that the market for medical isotopes will continue to grow due to the strong aging population, the growth in prosperity and higher life expectancy in (mostly) developing countries the next years. Outside the Netherlands, only four other countries possess adequate production facilities and a mature isotope production infrastructure.

It is explicitly the intention to contribute with PALLAS to the continuous availability of medical isotopes for European citizens and to research and development of new isotopes (treatments). Supply security and innovation are key terms.

An example of this innovation is the production of the isotope lutetium-177 (Lu-177) that is made available to various clinics worldwide for research into new treatments. The Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam is a world leader in research into the treatment of neuroendocrine tumours with Lu-177. In addition to Lu-177, there is increasing interest for holmium-166 loaded on microspheres (brachytherapy), for the purpose of treatment of primary liver tumours.


Knowledge infrastructure and research

As in the HFR, the intention is to carry out high quality nuclear research assignments and programmes in PALLAS for private and public parties. Central themes are supply security of nuclear energy (in the medium and long term), safety research, optimisation of resource utilisation, waste management solutions and (basic) materials research. Along with the new research reactors MYRRHA (Belgium) and JHR (France), PALLAS is the mainstay of the European ambitions in this area.

At present, NRG distinguishes four ‘markets’ in this area:

  1. Innovative systems
  2. Demonstration projects (e.g. ITER)
  3. Commercial new build
  4. Existing nuclear facilities

NRG will retain and expand this role in the long term with PALLAS. After all, in the light of increasing global hunger for energy, it is important to exploit all energy options, also nuclear, as ‘smart’ as possible to satisfy this need in a responsible manner. The importance of nuclear power will increase rather than decrease.



The presence of the HFR (operational since 1961) has always been considered a flywheel for (nuclear) activity in and around Petten / Netherlands. This is well reflected in the history of ‘Petten’, starting with the establishment of the Reactor Centre Netherlands, where the foundation was laid for among others multinational Urenco (ultracentrifuge technology for uranium enrichment), and later on ECN.

In 1976 RCN was renamed the Netherlands Energy Research Centre (ECN), with the aim to broaden to other energy sources. In 1998 this led to a separation of activities, in which NRG emerged as a full ‘nuclear’ subsidiary of ECN (and initially KEMA).

In 1999 NRG took over the irradiation activities for medical isotopes from the European research centre JRC (Joint Research Centre in Petten). HFR also attracted other activity, and thus employment to Petten. Thus an entirely new industry broke through in the dunes of Petten: that of medical isotopes, the processing of irradiated isotopes for the medical industry and the development of new isotopes for this industry. This was done through the years by successive companies Philips-Duphar and Mallinckrodt Medical (until 2013 Covidien). This rapidly growing industry was not foreseen when the decision to build the HFR was made.

Furthermore, the HFR enabled the establishment of the European energy institute JRC-IET (Joint Research Centre, Institute for Energy and Transport). A development that not only brought employees to Petten, but also led to the establishment of for example the European school in Bergen (NH).

PALLAS will probably not mean a jump in direct employment. The main reasons are that the new technology and an efficient site layout will cause that fewer employees are required in continuous service / maintenance than at the HFR.

Just as the HFR was central to attracting and clustering of activities in Petten over the years, so will PALLAS do likewise in its turn. Without HFR and without PALLAS not only NRG and Mallinckrodt Medical will disappear from the dunes of Petten in the foreseeable future, but also supporting services such as the company fire brigade and the security services. A movement that will also put the activities of ECN and JRC-IET under considerable pressure and will have profound impact and costly consequences for all organisations involved.

With approximately 1600 employees ‘Petten’ is one of the largest employers in the north of North Holland, that has approximately 30,000 jobs in total. More than half of the labour force works outside the area. Apart from the city of Den Helder (with the Royal Navy, the naval base and the airport) the main economic drivers are agriculture, fishery, recreation and tourism and ECN / NRG / Mallinckrodt Medical / JRC-IET.



Design and license
Design and license

The design process

PALLAS aims to realise a state of the art multifunctional nuclear reactor, which is suitable for mainly producing medical isotopes and for conducting nuclear technology research.

This reactor is to replace the current High Flux Reactor (HFR) in Petten, which has been in operation for over fifty years and is now approaching the end of its economic life.

The first phase, the design of the new reactor together with obtaining the necessary licenses is expected to be completed around 2020.

A European tendering process has been completed for the selection of the designer of the PALLAS-reactor (Designer Nuclear Island, DNI) where international parties with experience in the design of research reactors could subscribe upon. PALLAS has selected the Argentinian-Dutch company ICHOS (INVAP and the TBI companies Croonwolter&dros – Mobilis). This DNI will deliver a state of the art multifunctional reactor design and is expected to do the management of the construction and commissioning of the reactor.

The second phase, the design, construction and commissioning of the PALLAS-reactor takes about five years. The lifetime of the new reactor is at least forty years. The PALLAS-reactor will seamlessly take over production of medical isotopes by the HFR.



The PALLAS-reactor is a pool-type reactor, which is able to deploy its neutron flux more efficiently and effectively than the HFR.  The most important feature of the PALLAS-reactor is its operational flexibility. The core of the reactor can be set up very flexibly for production of various medical isotopes and hence respond to changing markets.

Schematic representation PALLAS-reactor


In the design process special attention will be focused on the reactor core and all nuclear systems involved. To get the appropriate design the PALLAS organisation has prepared a document with functional requirements. This is called the “Technical Requirements” (in short TR). This document will be used by the designer (Designer Nuclear Island, DNI) – the Argentinian-Dutch company ICHOS (INVAP and the TBI companies Croonwolter&dros – Mobilis) – to make the final design of the PALLAS-reactor.

The design process includes many interim steps towards the final design. Every substep will be extensively tested according to the latest international regulations of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the specific Dutch requirements regarding the safety of the design and business operations.

Thus, the reactor building (the containment) has to be designed to withstand potential external hazards, such as airplane accidents or earthquakes.



Apart from the design of the reactor and the nuclear systems involved there are a lot of other (non-nuclear) design and construction activities required.

The infrastructural integration of the new reactor in the Research Location Petten is essential. For example a good secondary cooling water supply, connection to gas, water, electricity and sewerage etc. Not to mention the interconnections between the new reactor and the associated laboratories and office spaces, so that there is a smooth logistical supply route for medical isotopes and other products.

Temporary infrastructural adjustments should also be prepared. During construction, e.g. sufficient space has to be available for construction traffic, parking lots for construction workers, site offices and transport and storage of materials. All of these temporary facilities should be designed in a way that they affect the daily operation of the HFR and the safety on the Petten Science Park and the surroundings as little as possible.


The licensing process

Obtaining the necessary licenses together with the design of the new reactor is expected to be completed around 2020.

Duinen Petten

There are a number of laws, decrees, regulations, guidelines and plans applicable to PALLAS. The most important ones are:

  • Nuclear Energy Act (Kernenergiewet / KEW) for the construction and operation of PALLAS. An important part of the application for the KEW-license is the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and the Safety Analysis Report (SAR).
  • Water Act for all direct water discharges
  • General Provisions Environmental Law for the location-related activities, such as construction of buildings and construction and use of roads
  • Nature Conservation Act for the conservation of nature protection areas (Natura 2000)

The durations of licensing procedures are laid down by law General Administrative Law Act (Algemene wet bestuursrecht / Awb). The different licensing procedures and their duration are included in the project planning.




Project financing

The PALLAS financing project consists of two phases: a publicly funded phase followed by a privately funded phase.


The Foundation Preparation Pallas reactor was founded on December 16, 2013 with the aim to successfully realize the first phase. This means the European tendering of the design of the new PALLAS reactor and obtaining the necessary licenses. For this phase the government has granted a loan of 80 million euros.

The second objective of the Foundation Preparation Pallas reactor looks ahead to the second phase and involves attracting private resources to realize the construction and commissioning of the PALLAS reactor. PALLAS has developed a solid business case as a basis to eventually refinance the PALLAS project based upon private capital. It is obvious that the Foundation Preparation Pallas reactor will then be converted into a new entity. Hence, in this sense the time horizon of the Foundation is limited.

It is up to the Foundation Preparation Pallas reactor to ensure a smooth transition between the above phases. This means that the work being done within the PALLAS project is not only focussed on the ultimate physical realization of the new PALLAS reactor, but that there is also a strong focus on the realization of its private financing. This task is assigned to a dedicated team that will report to the managing director. PALLAS is in discussions with potential investors and is attracting the interest of serious international private investors.


Social responsibility

 All PALLAS activities we will take into account of people and the environment, in the sense that the project is trying to limit the negative effects as much as possible.

To ensure this, we have chosen a systematic project approach with simple and clear rules that all employees can understand and follow.

In addition to its own employees all companies working for PALLAS also need to implement the core values of safety, reliability, professionalism. The PALLAS policy on safety, health, environment, quality and safety (SHEQS) will be used as the directive.



PALLAS is committed to the application of best relevant practice in minimising the impact of its activities on the environment. The key aspects of its strategy to achieve this are:

  • Establishing, maintaining and continually improving arrangements that satisfy or exceed the requirements of ISO 14001:2004
  • Meeting or exceeding applicable legal and other requirements to which the Company subscribes that relate to its environmental aspects
  • Contributing significantly to minimising the life-cycle environmental impact of the reactor, in particular preventing or minimising pollution, through the specification and tendering, control of design and realisation processes
  • Identifying and addressing, through the setting and monitoring of performance objectives and targets, those aspects of its operations that have the most significant environmental impact
  • Minimising waste by evaluating operations and ensuring they are as efficient as possible
  • Imposing a clear environmental policy on its (sub) contractors and suppliers of goods and services classed as vital
  • Encouraging all employees and others who work for the Company to act in accordance with our environmental policy and giving appropriate training and awareness as required


PALLAS is committed to meeting requirements on time and in full. PALLAS is committed to discuss the requirements with (potential) customers and agree with them on these requirements. This will be achieved by:

  • Establishing arrangements that satisfy the requirements of ISO 9001:2008
  • Rigorous compliance with the requirements defined in the User Requirements Specification (URS)
  • Effective communications with the customer(s) throughout the delivery of the project
  • All employees understanding, committing to and working within the Procedures and Instructions detailed in the Management System Manual
  • All employees being empowered to identify and communicate opportunities for improvement
  • The continual improvement of PALLAS processes and its Management System through team contribution and the establishment, monitoring and review of an annual Continual Improvement
  • Plan comprising appropriate Key Targets, Key Actions and Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s).

Health and Safety

PALLAS considers the safety and health of its employees and those who work on its site to be paramount. Safety will never knowingly be compromised. PALLAS will:

  • Adopt and follow all health and safety instructions that are part of the Dutch Safety Requirements
  • Promote and maintain a strong safety culture based on openness and transparency
  • Promote and provide safe and healthy working conditions
  • Provide appropriate health and safety training for staff
  • Measure and monitor safety performance and seek its continual improvement
  • Implement effective emergency procedures
  • Require the strictest conformance to procedures and safe working practices by its suppliers
  • Meet, as a minimum, all relevant health and safety legislation applicable to its operations


The security of nuclear facilities, hardware, material and information to prevent the unauthorised proliferation, knowledge and use of reactor technology and material as well as the threat of sabotage or civil unrest is of prime importance to PALLAS. This will be pursued by:

  • Establishing arrangements that satisfy the requirements of the IAEA Nuclear Security Guidelines and Dutch law
  • Requiring the new reactor complex design to be fully compliant with all relevant Dutch and International regulations on the security, safeguard and physical protection of nuclear sites and nuclear and strategic materials
  • Maintaining appropriate classification and security procedures for design documentation including the operation of ‘need to know’ principles
  • Operating appropriate project office physical and document access control arrangements
  • Training staff to understand their responsibilities and to enlist their support in continually improving security arrangements and performance.



Press and info
Press and info

Contact press inquiries

Anneloes Geldermans +31 (0) 88 20 24 066 or
Saskia Denekamp +31 (0) 88 20 24 037


General contact details
These can be found on our Contact page.


Current events


Design zoning plan PALLAS (in Dutch):
Ontwerp Bestemmingsplan regels PALLAS-reactor
Ontwerp Bestemmingsplan toelichting PALLAS-reactor
Ontwerp Bestemmingsplan plankaart PALLAS-reactor
Beeldkwaliteitsplan PALLAS

Practical information for those who are considering submitting a view – such as the period that applies to this and the address to which the view must be sent – has been published on the website of the municipality of Schagen www.schagen.nl.
An incorrect image was used in the SEA by mistake (figure 10 on page 28, Summary: figure 5 on page 13), this concerns an X-ray machine.
Background reports (in Dutch):
Nucleaire veiligheid
Bodem en water
Recreatie en toerisme
Landschap, cultuurhistorie en ruimtelijke kwaliteit

Interview with Titus Tielens, about his first 100 days at PALLAS, by Yess.

The Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) is a specialised agency within the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an intergovernmental organisation of industrialised countries based in Paris, France. The OECD-NEA has published a series of reports on the supply of medical radioisotopes.

AIPES (Association of Imaging Producers & Equipment Suppliers) brings the major pharmaceutical laboratories in nuclear medicine together with the major producers of medical equipments for this area of medicine, both multinationals and local medium size companies. On the website of AIPES you can find more information about nuclear medicine.

Nov 2017 – Medical isotopes, Global importance and opportunities for the Netherlands, a publication of Nuclear Netherlands.

Mar 2016 –  The PALLAS inspiration document on spatial quality 2016 presents recommendations from the local community about the architecture and landscape integration of the PALLAS-reactor in Petten.

Jan 2016 – Memorandum of notification SEA, with this document PALLAS expresses formally to launch a process that must lead to a change in the zoning plan of the research location Petten (OLP).
The translation of the original Dutch Memorandum of Intent for the Strategic Impact Assessment was commissioned by PALLAS. In the event of discrepancies between this translation and the original Dutch version, the latter shall prevail.

Nov 2015 – Report Nature Investigation Research Location Petten and Annex report (Dutch), by Antea Group.

May 2015 – Mededelingsnotitie Milieueffectrapportage (Dutch), on Tuesday May 26th filed with the Authority for Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection (ANVS), the first formal step in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)-procedure.

Jan 2013 – Leaflet PALLAS Developing the healthcare and energy research of tomorrow.

Oct 2011 – The PALLAS ‘Memorandum of Aims‘  is a visualisation of the architecture and landscaping based on wishes and ideas of local residents and the professional look of the architects.

May 2011 – Report of the second meeting on architecture and landscaping on May 31th. (Dutch)

May 2011 – Report of the first meeting on architecture and landscaping and invitation for the 2nd meeting on May 31th. (Dutch)
Source: Het Portaal

May 2011 – Presentation PALLAS, A nuclear reactor fit for the future, IAEA Headquarters Vienna (Austria) 16 May 2011.

Apr 2011 – Report of the meeting on architecture and landscaping of the PALLAS reactor, 28 April 2011. (Dutch)

Dec 2010 – Article Dutch dream of new HFR, in Nuclear Engineering International.

Sep 2010- Presentation Information meeting PALLAS, 29 September 2010. (Dutch)

Sep 2010 – Information sheet ‘Nieuwe kernreactor onmisbaar voor moderne gezondheidszorg’. Why cyclotrons are no alternative for the production of medical isotopes. (Dutch)


About us
About us

Who we are

PALLAS aims to realise a state of the art multifunctional nuclear reactor, which is suitable for mainly producing medical isotopes and for conducting nuclear technology research.

An independent foundation

The PALLAS project organisation was part of NRG (subsidiary of ECN) until the end of 2013. As of December 16, 2013 the project is incorporated in an independent foundation, the Foundation Preparation Pallas reactor.

The Foundation is responsible for the successful completion of the first phase of the project: the design, tendering and licensing procedure. For this phase, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, together with the Province of Noord-Holland made available 80 million euros. The Foundation is also responsible for attracting funding for the second phase: the construction and commissioning.

Read the statutes (in Dutch) of the foundation.

Management and supervision

Upon the establishment of the Foundation, dr. H. J. (Hermen) van der Lugt was appointed Managing Director. Previously Van der Lugt was director at Foundation Novay in Enschede, the former Telematics Institute.

The Supervisory Board of the Foundation consists of:
Chairman J.W.R. van Lunteren MSc (Director of Strategic Alliances for the University Medical Center Utrecht and former member of the Executive Council of the Province of Utrecht),
drs. M.C. van der Harst (former top official Ministry of Economic Affairs),
prof. dr. J. Telgen (professor of Purchasing Management, Twente) and
prof. dr. W.C. Turkenburg (emeritus professor of Science and Society, Utrecht).

The organisation

The daily management of PALLAS is the responsibility of the Managing Director. For the projects ‘design and licensing’ and ‘financing’ project managers are appointed. The first is responsible for delivering the ‘licensable design’, so the construction phase can be started. The other is responsible for obtaining private financing for the construction phase. Both managers steer a team consisting of various (technical / financial) specialists. These specialists are supported by a handful of ‘staff employees’ (Project Office, Communication, Contract Management, Procurement and SHEQS).

Our Design & Licensing Director is Jan van der Marel. He is responsible for delivering a safe design for the PALLAS-reactor which is ready for the construction phase, meets the licensing criteria (‘licensable’) and satisfies the framework conditions of private financing and commercial operations. Construction and commissioning of the reactor can commence as soon as the licences are issued.
Having previously worked for Jacobs and Siemens, Jan has spent most of his career employed as a project manager of complex international projects for energy supplier Nuon, most recently as Director of Engineering at Nuon Vattenfall.
The Design & Licensing team consists of several highly qualified specialists who combine with the international nuclear experts of Owner’s Engineer Tractebel Engineering and the experts of Licensing Engineer Arcadis to form an integrated project team.
Licensing Manager Marco Visser studied political science and subsequently developed a career in Quality, Health and Safety. Later, while working among others at Arcadis he specialised in the environment-related aspects of various large-scale industrial projects, in particular licensing and environmental impact reporting.
Before joining PALLAS, Design Control Manager Marisa van der Walt worked at the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR) and SAFARI-1 medical isotope production reactor in South Africa. In her role as Head of Nuclear Safety and Technology, Marisa was responsible for nuclear safety and the development of new production facilities for medical isotopes. Her study in nuclear technology at North-West University led to her being awarded a Master of Science.

The Manager of Business Case & Financing Titus Tielens is responsible for preparing a business case which serves as a basis for obtaining private financing for construction and commissioning as well as for the operational phase.
Titus has had a career in strategy and business development at various leading organisations, including McKinsey, TNO, Booz & Company and Avery Dennison. His most recent position prior to joining PALLAS was as Strategy and Innovation Manager for the Port Authority of Amsterdam.
The Business Case & Financing team consists of highly qualified specialists in market research and financial modelling, as well as experts in the fields of nuclear medicine and technological nuclear research. In addition, the team has specialist knowledge of financing with in-depth knowledge of medical isotopes.
Business Start-up Manager – Medical Isotope Production Centre Koen Kodde has had a varied international career in the radio and biopharmaceutical sector, most recently as Project Director for MSD. He has set up multiple GMP production facilities.
Programme Developer for Nuclear Research Margaret McGrath has held various research positions at the IFE (Institute for Energy Technology). In recent years, she acted as the Project Manager for the international Halden Reactor Project of the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), which carries out research into improving the safety of nuclear reactors and of which the Netherlands is also a member.

Both teams are supported by specialised staff executives with experience in international, complex projects and/or organisations;
Financial Manager Nico van Ginkel has worked for several international organisations, including Ballast Nedam, BAM, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Stork.
SHEQS (Safety, Health, Environment, Quality and Security) Manager Roel Krol has a solid career with Stork (oil and gas industry) and previously worked in project management roles at Promech Sorting Systems and Spaans Bulk Handling Systems.
Communication Manager Anneloes Geldermans previously performed various communication roles at financial and legal organisations including ING, Delta Lloyd and DAS. She has a background in journalism and advised the Ministry of Justice and Education of Aruba on developing training programmes and policy documents for judicial services.

Read more about the core values and the PALLAS policy on the page ‘Environment’.



Initiator of the PALLAS project is the NRG, a subsidiary institute of the Energy research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN) since 1998. NRG, owner and licensee of the HFR, has become a global player in the field of nuclear consultancy and the provision of irradiation services for the production of medical and industrial isotopes and nuclear technology research. NRG employs approximately 500 specialists, spread over two sites: Petten and Arnhem.

The PALLAS project was launched early 2004. This was an initiative of a group of companies and research institutes, namely Mallinckrodt Medical, Reactor Institute Delft (part of TU Delft) and the European Institute for Energy and Transport (JRC-IET). NRG was involved in the initiative as project manager.

NRG then went to work on the further elaboration and implementation of the project and has set up a dedicated project team in 2009, under the daily management of a project director. This director reported to the boards of both ECN and NRG.

With the establishment of the Foundation Preparation Pallas reactor (December 16, 2013) the PALLAS project is incorporated in an independent entity.


Working for PALLAS

Interested in a challenging job in a nuclear technological environment? PALLAS is currently looking for enthusiastic professionals who want to contribute to the realization of the new high flux reactor: PALLAS.

Working at PALLAS means…
On to work at the leading international nuclear project!


The PALLAS team welcomes students to learn from experience in this (inter)nationally leading project. To be eligible for an internship or graduation place we like to receive a notification letter with a description of: your interests, what kind of internship it is and what period it relates.

Contact hrm@pallasreactor.com if you want to commit acquisition in response to this vacancy.

The first 100 days at PALLAS
The first 100 days are crucial in a new job. In an interview with Yess, our colleague Titus Tielens shares his motivation, experiences and ambitions during these first hundred days.