From 20-23 March, the TOPNUX conference took place in London. This international conference, entitled Securing the Future – the Role of Nuclear Energy, was organized by the European Nuclear Society (ENS) in collaboration with the British Nuclear Energy Society. Around 200 delegates attended from across Europe, China, the US, Canada South Africa etc. This included several ministers and senior politicians, industry experts, scientists (among them was the famous environmentalist and Gaia theory proponent, James Lovelock) and members of BNES and ENS. Among the key speakers were: Malcolm Wicks, UK Energy Minister; Paavo Lipponen, the former Finnish Prime Minister and current Speaker of the Finnish Parliament; Pierre Gadonneix, CEO of EDF and Bill Coley, CEO of British Energy.

Among the main issues under discussion at TOPNUX were: international partnerships to fuel the supply chain, waste management, security and safeguards, public perceptions, new engineering and R & D initiatives with regard to design and construction, attracting and recruiting talented young engineers into the into the nuclear industry and research sector and proactive risk communication strategies. There were also a number of technical sessions that focused on products that will secure the future of the nuclear industry, including advanced gas-cooled reactors, “smart technologies,” hot labs, innovative spent fuel initiatives, encapsulating waste in hard rock or in underground wet storage sites and the Generation IV reactors of tomorrow.

Another important issues discussed by TOPNUX delegates was the nuclear industry’s need for promoting greater national awareness of the advantages of nuclear energy with legislators, regulators and the general public.

The current nuclear renaissance, with the increasing importance attached to plant lifetime extensions and new-build, was a commonly recurring theme throughout the conference.

For more information about the TOPNUX conference, including details about the programme and the speakers’ presentations, visit the ENS website at:


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