Issue No.16 Spring
(April 2007)


ENS News

Word from the President

The Revenge of Gaia

ENS Events

Pime 2007


ENC 2007

EYGF 2007

Member Societies & Corporate Members

The NICODEME contract

Nuclear Reactor Control

Introducing the use of artificial intelligence in materials science

Swiss Nuclear Society (SNS)

SAFPWR web site

SIEN 2007

The Drawing Contest

Resumé of Swiss Nuclear Society´s Autumn Seminar in 2006

YGN Report

First encounter with young political organizations in Salamanca

YGN BNES activities

Winter School “PR Technologies: How to Work with Public and Media”

European Institutions

50 years of the Euratom Treaty: reflecting on the past, safeguarding the future

50 years old and going strong: FORATOM toasts health of Euratom Treaty

ENS World News

Second Neutron Beam Instrument Online as OPAL Returns to Full Power

NucNet News

ENS Members

Links to ENS Member Societies

Links to ENS Corporate Members

Editorial staff

ENC 2007

ENC 2007
16 - 20 September 2007 in Brussels















































































YGN BNES activities

Rough Guide to the Nuclear Industry 2006: Sellafield, UK,
11 -13 October.

The 2006 BNES YGN Rough Guide to the Nuclear Industry was an event which brought together more than 30 young professional BNES members from a varied cross-section of the nuclear industry. The organisations represented by the delegates included those involved in nuclear power generation, submarine development and decommissioning, waste retrieval and disposal, general nuclear legacy decommissioning and industry regulation.

The Event took place at the Sellafield Visitors Centre in West Cumbria. It provided attendees with an excellent chance to broaden their knowledge of the nuclear industry as a whole, both through interaction and discussions with other delegates of varying backgrounds attending the event, as well as through the wide range of topics discussed in the various presentations. The visits to the Sellafield site which were undertaken also provided an invaluable opportunity to see some of the operations and theory that had been outlined in the preceding presentations, put into practice.

The event was opened with a ‘Welcome to Sellafield’ presentation by Peter Lutwyche which provided a brief history of Sellafield as well as outlining some interesting facts and figures on the current operations and future plans for the site. This was followed by an Introduction to the Nuclear Fuel Cycle given by Neil Blundell from the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (NII). Together, these opening presentations provided a strong foundation for what was to follow and were well received, especially by those delegates with less experience in these particular areas.

Following these introductory sessions, Neil Blundell continued by providing an insight into the work and workings of the NII. This included a brief history of the regulatory body as well as an overview of the areas impacted by the NII and the kind of day to day tasks which are carried out by inspectors working for the organisation.

The afternoon of Day 1 began with a presentation on how the formation of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has affected the decommissioning and clean-up sectors of the industry, in particular with respect to short and long term strategy planning. This was closely followed by a brief synopsis of the work of the British Nuclear Energy Society's Young Generation Network (YGN), the organisation responsible for putting on the conference, given by YGN Vice-Chair, Neil Crewdson.

The first day closed with two presentations on widely varying subjects, showcasing the diversity of topics this event was designed to cover. The first of these was a fascinating and frank discussion on the problem of the long-term management of radioactive waste given by Nirex, advisors to the UK government on this subject. The second was a talk on the manufacture and use of industrial sources of radiation, provided by Duncan Aston of High Technology Sources Ltd.

Day 1 ended with a meal attended by all the delegates, as well as other members of the YGN, which afforded a valuable chance for conversation and networking between delegates from different companies and areas of the industry.

The first two lectures on Day 2 were largely based around the theme of decommissioning. The first of these was given by Andy Scargill, Sellafield Superintendent for Decommissioning, and presented an overview of the challenges faced at Sellafield and some of the solutions which have been utilised to overcome them. Emphasis was then placed on the afternoons visit to the Calder Hall site with a presentation from site manager Paul Brennan on its past, present and future.

The morning was rounded off by a talk from the present CEO of British Nuclear Group, Lawrie Haynes, which was a very positive look at how innovation will be key to the future of the nuclear industry and, hence, how young people coming into the sector are of paramount importance in shaping its future.

The afternoon then consisted of two site visits. The first of these, a visit to the Calder Works including the Calder Reactor and Turbine Hall, tied in with the mornings corresponding presentation and gave a unique insight into the life cycle of a nuclear plant through construction to commissioning, decommissioning and finally demolition. The second visit of the afternoon was a very informative overview of the Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant (Thorp). This gave a detailed summary of all Thorp reprocessing operations, taking in everything from receipt and storage through to the chemical separation part of the process.

The final day began with Steve Bostock, Head of Magnox Reprocessing Operations, explaining the process and plant interdependencies of the Sellafield Magnesium Oxide reprocessing cycle. This edifying lecture served as an excellent preface to the site visits which followed. These incorporated tours of the Fuel Handling Plant, where spent fuel from nuclear reactors across the country is received and prepared for reprocessing; the Separation Area, where the re-usable Uranium and Plutonium from spent fuel are separated from other fission products; and the Magnox Encapsulation Plant (MEP), where fuel cladding materials are encapsulated in grout and safely stored. Overall the days visits demonstrated how several different plants can link together to form one process as well as the reliance of each individual plant on the performance of others within that process chain.

The whole event was brought to a close on the final afternoon by two further presentations. The first came from the Nuclear Industry Association, the trade association and information body for the UK civil nuclear industry. This was followed by a fitting closing discussion and Q&A session on corporate social responsibility in the nuclear industry, led by David Bonser, BNFL Director.

The event more than achieved its initial aims of providing a broad impression of the industry as a whole, whilst also giving a more in-depth analysis of certain aspects of the exciting challenges and opportunities which exist within the industry both presently and looking to the future.

There was a diverse mix of backgrounds and experience in the group of attendees present and it was testament to the thought and organisation which had obviously gone into the planning of the event that each one of these attendees went away having not only thoroughly enjoyed it, but also having taken in plenty of useful information about, and with an improved understanding of, their industry.

The event highlighted the positive aspects of the nuclear sector and showed that there is plenty of outstanding work going on across many disciplines and fields of expertise within the industry. It left the delegates with the knowledge that better communication, both internally and externally, can only lead to an improved perception of, and confidence in, the nuclear industry, thus ensuring a bright outlook for their respective futures in nuclear.

Chris Farrell, British Nuclear Group.

PM Visit to Sellafield

Tony Blair’s visit to Sellafield – The YGN perspective by Matthew Aukett

The Prime Minister made a suprise visit to the Sellafield Nuclear Complex on the 16th November and requested to meet with younger members of the industry, including apprentices, graduates and members of the BNES Young Generation Network. Following Mr. Blair’s guided tour of the site, Linda McLean and Matthew Autket had the opportunity to welcome Mr. Blair off the tour bus and took him meet 8 fellow young members of the nulcear industry, including two YGN core committee members. Mr. Blair enquired about what work people were undertaking and their career history. He then proceeded to the British Technology Centre, where he gave a speech to a selection of the workforce. During his speech he commended the work being undertaken at Sellafield as a part of the clean-up mission and gave an extremely uplifting and positive speech about the future of the industry and the Sellafield site.

In summing up the importance of the Prime Minister’s desire to meet the next generation of the nuclear industry, Linda McLean said: "The fact that the Prime Minister took time out from a very busy schedule specifically to meet some of the graduates, apprentices and young generation shows he understands nuclear is not an industry that is in decline, but is rather an industry that is providing lots of interesting and challenging opportunities, noting today's 'Younger Generation' is key to the success of the industry."

Christian Guiotto
YGN Comms Officer

Education & Training Bulletin

Hello, and welcome to the YGN Education & Training e-Bulletin. This month we take a look at Sheffield University and its internationally renowned Immobilisation Science Laboratory (ISL). Plus, in this bulletin, we also provide a 2007 events update.

The ISL is based at the Department of Engineering Materials at the University of Sheffield. It offers educational and training opportunities at undergraduate, masters and postgraduate level. Students studying for either a Batchelor or Master of Engineering Degree have radioactive waste immobilisation techniques taught them as part of their course. Students on the M.Eng, can supplement this with a long term project in their final year on a specific radwaste topic.

The Nuclear Environmental Science and Technology M.Sc. course is specifically designed to teach the fundamental underpinning science of waste immobilisation. Advanced courses on cements, glasses and ceramics are supported by lecturers from industry giving the students their experience of site specific problems.

PhD projects within the ISL are available in five specific areas of immobilisation, cements, glasses,

ceramics, materials modelling or deep borehole disposal. Most students at the ISL have an academic and industrial supervisor and benefit greatly from this close association with industry. If you are interested in studying for a Ph.D. on any of these topics please contact the ISL Manager Dr John Roberts via the details below.

The Radioactive Waste Immobilisation Network (RWIN) is co-ordinated by the ISL and holds regular meetings on radwaste at various locations throughout the UK. The meetings showcase current technologies and are an excellent way for the radwaste community to stay up to date as well as providing education and training to people new to the field. Further details are available from the RWIN website at:

MRS 2007 Symposium on the Scientific Basis for Radioactive Waste Management

The ISL is hosting the 31st Annual Meeting of the most important technical event on the international radwaste calendar. The meeting will be held in Sheffield from September 16 - 21 2007 bringing together scientists from all over the world to present their work. More information including the call for abstracts, which is now open, is available from the website

To find out more about Education and Training opportunities at the ISL please contact the ISL Manager at or visit the ISL website at

The cutting edge academic work that the ISL and Sheffield University carry out may seem a bit academic to some people but it provides an alternative and benchmarking way of working for the industry. The eagerness to engage with industry and maintain links with the R&D sector should see its work grow in influence, especially in cementitious immobilisation.

YGN 2007 Event Update:

26 – 28 March
YGN Reactor Seminar
FULLY BOOKED (Reserve places only)
May 2007 YGN Defence Seminar NEW THIS YEAR! BOOKING SOON
September 2007 France, Technical Tour BOOKING SOON
10– 12 October YGN Rough Guide to Sellafield FULLY BOOKED (Reserve places only)
26 October (tbc) YGN Annual Dinner BOOKING SOON


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