Issue No.18 Autumn
(October 2007)


ENS News

Word from the President

A question of logic

ENS Events

ENC 2007

Pime 2008

RRFM 2008

Nestet 2008

Member Societies & Corporate Members

Concept of a future
High Pressure- Boiling Water Reactor (HP-BWR)

Can Austria Survive Without Nuclear Power?

CEA signs European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers

Croatian conference focuses on nuclear countries with “small electricity grids.”

YGN Report

ICEM Conference focuses on training and educating tomorrow’s nuclear sepcialists

BNES and Institute of Nuclear Engineers (INucE) organise congress on future of nuclear

The French – Russian Boreal Nights exchange


SIEN 2007: “ Nuclear Power – A New Challenge”

European Institutions

European Commission launches SNETP

ENS World News

NAS makes 150 years of scientific history available online

NucNet News

ENS Members

Links to ENS Member Societies

Links to ENS Corporate Members

Editorial staff
Pime 2008
Pime 2008
10 - 14 February 2008 in Prague

RRFM 2008
2 - 5 March 2008 in Hamburg, Germany


NESTet 2008
4 - 9 May 2008 in Budapest, Hungary
























































BNES and Institute of Nuclear Engineers (INucE) organise congress on future of nuclear

The BNES/INucE Congress 2007 took place at the University of Manchester from 19 -21 June. The theme of the congress was Building a Future for Nuclear and over a busy three days an impressive array of presenters from the UK and abroad highlighted the challenges facing our industry and the opportunities for ensuring its success.

The YGN was invited to assist with the running the event and a motivated team of volunteers arrived in Manchester on the eve of the Congress to plan for the days ahead and prepare hundreds of delegate packs for distribution the next morning. Despite the odd minor panic behind the scenes the event ran pretty smoothly thanks to the team’s combined efforts. The volunteers took the opportunity to attend as many presentations as possible, running microphones for question times and taking notes on each of the sessions. YGN Chair and Vice Chair, Neil Crewdson and Linda McLean respectively, had the unenviable task of collating the notes and presenting summaries of the previous days’ events at the beginning of days 2 and 3 of the congress, which they did with confidence and professionalism. It was an excellent way to raise the profile of the YGN.

The Congress sessions were grouped under the headings of New Build, Clean Up, Stakeholders, Waste Management, Operations and People. However, many of the issues discussed throughout the event proved to be of common interest to all sectors of the industry. In particular, the skills shortage faced by the nuclear industry, both at home and internationally, was a commonly expressed concern. Positive steps were being made to address this in the UK, with the establishment of the Dalton Institute and the National Skills Academy for Nuclear, and with a consortium of Universities now offering nuclear engineering degrees. However, it was noted that these steps can only become fully successful if we also address the skills issue at the grass roots level. In other words we need to encourage the study of science and maths in school rather than watch the continued decline in these subjects. We then must attract young people with talent in these areas to study science and engineering at university and, further still, attract them into the nuclear industry rather than losing them to other more lucrative careers, for example, jobs the financial sector. The challenge is substantial but we can all contribute to meeting it, as organisations and as individuals, by working to raise the profile and improve the public perception of the nuclear industry.

As young people making their way in the industry, many YGN members were most interested to learn about the prospect of new nuclear build in the UK. Aware as we are that the decommissioning and clean up side of the industry will provide wide-ranging and challenging opportunities for years to come, we nonetheless couldn’t help being slightly more excited by the prospect of new nuclear power stations being commissioned and operated in the UK. Such a prospect inspires us, and also the scientists and engineers of the future, to view our industry as one on the up rather than in decline.

Those of us within the industry are well aware of the arguments for new build. Recent political, environmental and economic issues have led to revived Government support for nuclear new build. Public attitudes, though divided, are slowly becoming more positive towards the idea. There seems to be a consensus between vendors, operators and regulators on the way forward with the licensing of new stations, all keen to avoid long delays and learn form past experiences. The standardisation of design would certainly be an advantage in speeding up the process, and would allow us in the UK to benefit from sharing ideas and experiences with the international nuclear community.

In summary, the BNES/INucE Congress 2007 was an informative and encouraging three days. YGN members left feeling far more aware of the issues facing our industry, and encouraged by the opportunities that its future present us with. The presentations, exhibition stands, workshops, and of course the conference dinner held at the Imperial War Museum, provided valuable opportunities to converse with others representing all areas of the industry. The trend in today’s nuclear industry for alliances and cooperation between companies reflects our own ethos at the YGN and we look forward to playing our part in building a future for the UK nuclear industry.

Marianne Wilson - Jacobs

YGN Workshops at Congress 2007

During the BNES/INucE Congress 2007 two YGN break out workshop sessions were held. These were organised and run by Sam Henson of the YGN and British Energy and were well attended by YGN members and many other Congress delegates. The key objective of these sessions was to debate the skills shortage issues and produce a set of actions that could be fed back to the Congress in a 15 minute presentation.

Two problem statements were defined as follows:

  • “There are difficulties in teaching and presenting the nuclear industry to 14 to 19 year olds”.

  • While the second begun as a ‘devil’s advocate’ “Alternative solutions are needed to meet the nuclear industry’s skills gap”.

Considerable background work was carried out to put together the problem statements. For the first problem statement Alex Wilcox, a graduate from British Energy, conducted a detailed survey of schools in the Lancashire area to find out quantitatively how much local teenagers knew about nuclear power and what their opinions

how much local teenagers knew about nuclear power

were. Summaries of these results can be seen in the diagram (see right) and more can be provided upon request. Qualitative comments from the results were also a good indication of how severe the problem of poor teenagers’ understanding of nuclear power really is. The best reaction to summarise this is: “nuclear power is dangerous because it gives out lots of nasty gases”.

To address both problem statements the group was split into two teams who were assigned the task of addressing one of the problem statements. Frank Cronin of AMEC Nuclear proved to be a highly energetic, efficient organiser and helped to guide both groups from the initial problem statement through identifying root causes, suggesting mitigation solutions and finally producing an implementation plan for the solutions. His suggestion of using the Ishikawa method and bringing it into the workshops helped make excellent use of time, producing some very interesting results. With all this information collected the groups shared the results of their respective work in order to get some comments.

The reasons for the views expressed by the 14 to 19-year olds were identified as:

  • Education – poor perception and the limitations of the school curriculum

  • Industry – not positively or effectively representing its views

  • Media – sensationalist press supporting the view that nuclear seen is highly dangerous

The main countermeasures identified for addressing this problem statement were to input the positive aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle into the national curriculum and to hire a National Schools Liaison Officer.

Finding alternative solutions provided a very heated debate, particularly when it came to outsourcing large projects to overseas companies. The most significant countermeasure proposed was to set up a joint industry-wide campaign to attract new graduates and people who have left the industry. Bearing in mind that mitigation and implementation plans for both problem statements were fairly similar and suggested that the majority of required activities are all ready being carried out, they are just not sufficiently high profile.

Finally, the results and details of the workshop were included in a presentation that I delivered to Congress delegates. The presentation lasted approximately 15 minutes and was well received. It was an excellent experience for me and I would like to thank all who were involved.

Sam Henson - British Energy

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