Nuclear-21’s Expertise(d) Core Team

Our Core Team are experienced senior experts who also became friends, and are driving towards making a difference in the nuclear sector together with our customers. The team scales-up according to our project needs with selected experts, both locally and globally.

Our long-standing collaborative work with top-notch experts in various organisations worldwide secures and maintains our up-to-date business intelligence, decisioneering methodologies and partnership performance.


Luc Van Den Durpel (Managing Director)

Luc Van Den Durpel graduated in 1989 as civil engineer and nuclear engineer from the University of Ghent (Belgium) where he also obtained his PhD on nuclear energy systems analysis. He initially conducted research at the Nuclear Research Center in Belgium. He joined the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency in Paris (France) in 1998 to conduct international studies on advanced nuclear energy systems and specifically advanced nuclear fuel cycle R&D. Early 2002, he joined US-DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory (ANL, US) in the context of Generation-IV and specifically nuclear energy system scenarios next to running his consultancy business.

Since March 2009, he became Scientific Director and International Expert at AREVA NC’s Corporate Research and Innovation Directorate and since October 2011, he became Vice-President Strategic Analysis and Technology Prospective at AREVA’s Corporate R&D. After leaving AREVA in March 2015, he launched the internationally operating consulting firm Nuclear-21 supporting governments, utilities, industry, waste agencies and R&D-laboratories in nuclear technology-to-business decisioneering.

Ross Peel (Associate Partner)

Ross Peel gained his Ph.D. from the University of Sheffield, UK, in the aqueous separation of thorium and the neutronic behaviour of mixed thorium-uranium-plutonium nuclear fuels in heavy water reactors, following from his Master degree in Mechanical Engineering with French, also from the University of Sheffield, which included a year studying at INSA Lyon, France. As part of his Ph.D., Ross spent three months working with AREVA in Paris, developing alternative options for the management of the UK’s separated plutonium inventory.

Ross has been working with Nuclear-21 since February 2017, co-developing the NESSAT toolbox and delivering projects for clients. Ross is fluent in English and French. He is also driven by education and training, and has been involved with the development of nuclear energy enterprise teaching modules for Master-level students, and lectured to Nuclear Reactor Engineering students.

Hubert Bairiot

Hubert Bairiot received Ir (i.e. MS) degree as Metallurgical Engineer and an MS as Actuary, both from UCL (Belgium), and a MS from MIT (USA). Until 1958, he pursued research at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL, USA). Thereafter, he joined Belgonucleaire (BN). In 1959-1960, BN seconded him to ANL for the manufacture of FBR Pu fuels. 

Returning to Europe, Belgonucleaire put him successively in charge of various MOX and LWR fuel fabrication/manufacturing and qualification programmes, eventually leading all LWR fuel projects, including the deliveries of MOX fuel to several nuclear power plants. From 1984 until 1991, he was Vice-President of COMMOX (a joined subsidiary of Cogema and BN, dealing with supply of MOX fuel fabrication and related services) and BN Manager of LWR Fuels markets (MOX fuel development and design, LWR reload supplies, fuel and core design and related safety analysis).

Since 1991, he is Managing Director of Nuclear Fuel Experts S.A. (FEX), a fuel consulting company. Over his career, he authored (or co-authored) a total of 159 publications, most of which devoted to MOX fuel.

Frédérique Damerval

Frederique Damerval is an internationally recognised expert in decontamination processes, with 22 years of experience at the heart of AREVA’s Decommissioning and Dismantling Business Unit, working in decontamination, treatment of effluents and wastes. She has a wide range of experience in research and development, in laboratories, industrialisation, management and open innovation. This has given her an integrated vision of the innovation process, and significant skill in identifying areas in need of development.

Since 2016, Frederique has provided support in the development of teaching and training materials towards the “Methods of Decommissioning” unit for Master of Nuclear Energy students at l’Ecole des Ponts ParisTech.

Last year, she initiated Tech Y Tech, whose aim is to identify innovative small and medium enterprises and help them develop their technology / products towards the maintenance and decommissioning sector of the nuclear industry.

Gian-Luigi Fiorini

Gian Luigi Fiorini graduated in Nuclear Energy at the University of Pisa, Italy in 1975; through his activity at the French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) he accrued more than forty years of experience in the formulation, implementation and coordination of theoretical and experimental activities for the design, the operation and safety assessment of nuclear reactors with some specific experiences on naval propulsion reactors and fusion plants (ITER). Several of these activities have been directly related to support nuclear licensing concerns within the framework of French nuclear regulation. He has been strongly involved in the development of Gen-IV reactor collaborations. As a specialist in safety approaches for the design and assessment of innovative nuclear systems he gained significant international experience as correspondent and program coordinator for CEA bilateral and multilateral agreements. Retired from the CEA since 2011, he is currently “Chargé de Mission” (ambassador/mission leader) within the Cabinet of the French High Commissioner for Atomic Energy in “Nuclear Safety”.

Caroline Jorant

Caroline Jorant currently works as a consultant in international relations in the energy sector, with a special emphasis on nuclear energy and nuclear security. Until June 2010, she was Director for Non-proliferation and International Institutions at AREVA. She spent 13 years in the French nuclear industry, overseeing international institutional affairs and intergovernmental agreements. From 1992 to 1997, she worked at the French Permanent representation to the EU and was the French representative to the Atomic Questions Group in the EU Council. From 1981 to 1992, she worked with the Commissariat Energie Atomique International Department. Caroline received a Master Degree in International Relations from SAIS Johns Hopkins.

Jim Kuijper

Jim Kuijper received a PhD in nuclear reactor physics from Delft University of Technology (Delft, NLD) in 1992. Since then he has worked with the Energy Research Foundation ECN and the Nuclear Research & Consultancy Group NRG in Petten, the Netherlands, until 2014. In 2015, he initiated NUCLIC (Nuclear Innovation Consultancy).

His main field of expertise includes nuclear reactor physics, space-time reactor kinetics, reactor dynamics, reactor safety, criticality safety, uncertainty assessment and computer code development for various nuclear reactor systems, in which he has been active both as researcher and project manager, often in projects of the EC/Euratom Framework Programs. Jim has been a member of the Reactor Safety Committee of the Petten research site (NLD) for over 20 years, advising the managements of NRG, ECN as well as Euratom/JRC-IET, on reactor physics and criticality safety aspects of the nuclear installations at the site. Current (2017-2018) activities include criticality safety advice for COVRA (Netherlands organisation for radioactive waste disposal) and HTGR core neutronics (design-) analyses in the Euratom Horizon 2020 project GEMINI+.

Serge Runge

Serge Runge holds a Ph.D. in Atomic Physics from the University of Paris and an Engineering degree from Ecole Centrale de Paris. After obtaining his PhD he held positions at the French Atomic Energy Commission (technology transfer to Japan); in an international consulting firm (strategic planning); with COGEMA Japan as General Manager for Back End business; with COGEMA Inc. in the United States as Vice-President for Industrial Programs, particularly involved in the US MOX Fuel Fabrication Facility project, the related shipments between the US and France of Weapon-Grade Plutonium, and a similar project in Russia. After returning to France he oversaw AREVA’s relations with Eastern Europe, particularly with ROSATOM, as Vice-President, CIS and Eastern Europe. Then he was appointed Vice-President, External Training Offers and Projects with AREVA’s Training Department.

Serge Runge is a member of the Société Française pour l’Energie Nucléaire and a member of the Executive Board of SFANS – the French section of the American Nuclear Society. He is fluent in French, Russian and English.

Henri Zaccaï

Henri Zaccai graduated in 1973 as a Civil Engineer specialising in Physics from the “Ecole Polytechnique” of Brussels University. He also obtained a Master in Business Management from CEPAC (Solvay Business School) in 1978. He initially conducted research at the IISN (Institut Interuniversitaire des Sciences Nucléaires) at Brussels University. He then joined Tractebel to work in various aspects of the Belgian nuclear fuel cycle and eventually worked with Synatom, a subsidiary of the utility responsible for the Belgian nuclear fuel cycle. In 1983, he joined the Belgian National Waste Management Agency, ONDRAF, where he contributed to the development of the Agency till 1993, dealing mainly with contractual and financial management of the radioactive waste management.

From 1993 to 2016, he worked within the AREVA Group in various senior management positions in the field of international business development, including international development of the engineering activities for nuclear fuel cycle facilities, marketing, international development of new build projects and from 2013 to 2016 as Vice President for International Development of the nuclear fuel cycle Back-End Business Group.

Since the end of 2016, he decided to share his knowledge and expertise as an independent consultant in the energy sector and more particularly in nuclear energy. Henri Zaccai is a member of the World Nuclear Association and of the Société Française pour l’Energie Nucléaire (SFEN).