YGN BNES 10th Anniversary Event, October 2006,
Formed in 1996, the Young Generation Network,
YGN, (part of the British Nuclear Energy Society) marked its first
successful decade on 27th October 2006 by putting on a celebratory
event held at the Jarvis Piccadilly Hotel, in Manchester.
The event was attended by over 200 members of
the BNES and YGN. These were made up in the most part by 'young'
nuclear engineers from various professional and academic organisations.
The afternoon and evening programme was packed with industry presentations,
discussion and entertainment.
The afternoon programme began with a welcome
note by Becky Ferris and Dave Clarke, the current and previous
chair of the YGN. The first speech was given by John Ritch, Director
General of the World Nuclear Association (WNA). John focused his
talk on the necessity of nuclear energy in the 21st century. He
also talked about the global environment and meeting predicted
future energy needs. A key message of his presentation was that
nuclear build must be part of the US energy mix. Finally, he talked
about the World Nuclear University established to prepare the
nuclear profession for a new nuclear century. He considered this
event as a convocation of future leaders and encouraged the YGN
to make a crucial contribution.
John was followed by Sarah Johnson, Head of Organisational
Development at British Energy. Sarah gave a presentation on Britain’s
present nuclear industry and ongoing developments. She also focused
on recruitment trends.
Next there was a panel session which started
with Peter Bleasdale, Managing Director of Nexia Solutions. Peter
talked about the current state of the decommissioning industry
and the setting up of the National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) at
Sellafield, which aims to safeguard the country’s nuclear
skills and capability. The NNL will be Government Owned Contractor
Operated (GOCO) and will focus on:
Long term research
The setting up of NNL is seen as an important development for
the industry’s progress.
Peter was followed by Simon Franklin, Director
of the Imperial College Research Reactor. Simon gave an interesting
presentation on nuclear research and development and the interest
shown by overseas students. He focused on the milestones that
YGN BNES have achieved in the last 10 years and the kind of activities
that YGN has been involved in, e.g. ‘Removing The Myth Seminars’,
arranging annual meeting programmes, nuclear tourism and many
more. He also talked about a survey that he carried out on the
opportunities developed due to decommissioning, new build and
the NDA’s role in facilitating career development for young
Simon was followed by John Earp, President of
BNES. John gave a presentation on the history of YGN, how and
why it was formed and also answered the big mystery of the YGN’s
age limit of 37 years! He talked about the development of the
YGN from a decade &go, with only 25 members and growing to
more than 400 members today.
After John Earp’s presentation, industry
speakers joined a panel for an open discussion on the topic of
skills, training and the future of the British and worldwide nuclear
The afternoon programme closed with a humorous
'University Challenge' type quiz pitting the wits of the cream
of the YGN against the captains of industry from BNES.
The evening programme began with a reception. This was followed
by a three course dinner, a fantastic after dinner speech by Major
Phil Ashby QGM and entertainment from the Northern Jazz Orchestra.
The event provided a great opportunity for the
young engineers and scientists working in the nuclear sector to
expand their personal networking, enhance their understanding
of the industry, exchange best practices and experience and promote
their career development.
My personal view of the event is that it was
focused to promote the YGN as they are the future of the industry,
but at the same time to transfer the skills and experience from
their seniors and captains of industry. The world is changing
and we are going through an exciting phase of evolution .Nuclear
industry is no longer stagnating but instead is a buoyant industry.
We are experiencing a nuclear renaissance.
Rahat Ali Siddiqui
Halcrow Special Structures
YGN Vice Chair 2007