Minister Kuipers of Health, Welfare and Sport announced today that there is full financing for the construction of the PALLAS-reactor in the North Holland town of Petten. This is a major step towards realising the new PALLAS-reactor in Petten. With this, the Netherlands will maintain its world position in the production of medical isotopes. Isotopes are essential ingredients for nuclear medicine, for diagnostics and therapy of patients with life-threatening diseases such as cancer.
Bertholt Leeftink, CEO NRG|PALLAS: “This decision is confirmation that the PALLAS-reactor is of strategic importance for the Netherlands and Europe. It will strengthen the security of medical isotopes supply for nuclear medicine. For patients, it means faster access to innovative (cancer) treatments.
On the world market for medical isotopes and nuclear technological research, the Netherlands holds a strong position. This decision enables us to expand this position. Moreover, the PALLAS-reactor is essential for the Dutch nuclear knowledge infrastructure. This will preserve high-quality knowledge and employment in the North Holland headland.”
Peter Dijk, PALLAS Programme Director: “This is tremendously good news, which we are very happy about. The team has been working hard to prepare for the construction of the PALLAS-reactor. With this decision we can proceed with the preparatory works and attract a contractor for realisation of the new build.”
NRG|PALLAS prepares for the future
The use of nuclear medicine is booming, especially for new therapies. About 200,000 patient treatments with therapeutic isotopes take place annually in Europe. This number is expected to increase by 8 percent annually. Targeted and personalized therapies are very promising because they can be used much more precisely than traditional treatments. This innovative approach has fewer harmful side effects, is more effective and less stressful for the patient.
The new PALLAS-reactor is also needed for nuclear technological research and is essential for maintaining the nuclear knowledge infrastructure. NRG|PALLAS has specific expertise in nuclear energy technology, nuclear safety, radiation protection and radioactive waste management.
Energy & Health Campus
The new PALLAS-reactor will be located at the Energy & Health Campus (EHC) in Petten. More than 1,600 employees are employed by different companies on the EHC. To strengthen the supply chain and maintain and increase the innovative power and production capacity for medical isotopes, work is also underway in Petten on the realisation of the Nuclear Health Centre production facility. In addition, NRG|PALLAS is building the FIELD-LAB. In the FIELD-LAB programme, NRG|PALLAS collaborates with university medical centres and pharmaceutical industry partners towards new applications of nuclear medicines.
The minister informed the House of Representatives on Budget Day 2023 about the status of the PALLAS-project. The construction of the reactor can finally proceed if the Parliament does not object to the creation of a new state-owned company and if the European Commission approves the public investment in the reactor. The letter to the Parliament can be read here.