NRG and PALLAS appoint Bertholt Leeftink (CEO) and Gerrit Zalm

28 May 2020

The NRG Foundation (previously: Foundation ECN) and the Foundation Preparation Pallas-reactor (PALLAS) have made an important step forward. The executive board members and the supervisory board members of both organizations will sit on the boards of both companies, via a so-called “personele unie” (a situation in which both organizations continue to exist autonomously, even if the same executive and supervisory boards govern them). This will be a significant boost to the development of medical isotopes in Petten and to the realization of the new reactor. Bertholt Leeftink will be the new CEO. Former minister of Finance and former CEO of ABN AMRO, Mr Gerrit Zalm accepts the position of the new president of the supervisory boards.

Bertholt Leeftink (1968), CEO of NRG and PALLAS: “The developments and activities in Petten are like gold in the hands of the Netherlands. On a daily basis, 30,000 patients are depending on irradiated products manufactured in Petten. Together with national and international partners, NRG and PALLAS cooperate in the field of nuclear research development and the health of millions of patients every year. The formation of the new organizational structure (“personele unie”) will be a significant boost for the establishment of a shared future strategy pertaining to the further development and production of medical isotopes. The public interest of multiyear guaranteed supply of medical isotopes is key.”

The two separate organizations will continue to exist. The new CEO and the members of the current executive board of NRG, Huub Cuijpers (CEO) and Maik Smit (CFO), and the members of the PALLAS executive board, Hermen van der Lugt (CEO) and Nico van Ginkel (CFO), will form the executive boards of both organizations. The supervisory boards members will also constitute two boards. Gerrit Zalm will be president of both supervisory boards.

In 2012, the Dutch government and the province of Noord-Holland concluded that the High Flux Reactor in Petten was due for replacement in order to ensure the guaranteed supply of medical isotopes and the continuation of nuclear research. The process of development of the new reactor was assigned to a new entity, the Foundation Preparation Pallas-reactor (PALLAS). Today, PALLAS has made substantial progress: together with the Dutch – Argentinian construction consortium ICHOS, the Foundation has been designing the reactor. In March, the Council of State has given the green light to the submitted zoning scheme. The current planning is that the construction of the new reactor will start mid 2021.

Since 2012, NRG has been evolving into a market leader in the field of development and production of medical isotopes. In European hospitals, 70% of the isotopes used for diagnoses were produced in Petten. The global percentage is at 30%. NRG and PALLAS will also focus on the sharply increasing demand for therapeutic isotopes. The installation of the new organizational structure in the form of a “personele unie” is the prelude to a situation in which, in term, (parts of) the NRG activities and (parts of) the PALLAS activities will be combined at an organizational level.