The French – Russian Boreal Nights exchange

By Edouard HOURCADE for French SFEN YGN

Boreal Nights: background

The idea of privileged exchanges between the French and the Russian Young generations networks were born 2000 in the “backstage” of IYNC 2000 in Bratislava (Slovakia). Inspired with IYNC spirit, the first Boreal Night exchanges were organized in 2002 and were dedicated to the dialogue between young professionals working in the nuclear industry and civil society.

Boreal Night events are shared in two sessions, in Russia and in France. For 30 to 40 participants the program is also divided in two sequences: In the first one, lectures are given by various speakers, from University Professors, specialists in communication area, psychology and human sciences, to multidisciplinary experts in environment, industry, economics and geopolitical strategies. These speakers can also be women and men, involved in the civil society and desirous of confronting their on-site experience with the thoughts and feelings of tomorrow’s actors. In the second one, the students can either organize public debates or visits in nuclear facililties.

Boreal Nights: summary of 2007 session

The 4th session in 2007 was again a huge sucess with more than 40 participants from the Russian and French young Generation community. The first week in St Petersburg was busy with lectures from communication experts and with visits of Sosnovybor RBMK NPP and ROSATOM communication center. It was also a great occasion to discover St Petersburgh with endless days...The second week, in Lyon, the young Russian and French colleages had a mouthfull of Lyon gastronomy as well as a good taste of the French experts’ knowledge, with many conferences on hot topics about communication in nuclear field. Technical visits (including Bugey NPP) completed these two dense weeks of studies in a very friendly atmosphere. Boreal Nights are like knowledge gathering and friendship, they never end...

The French delegation in front of the Hermitage museum museum
The French delegation in front of the Hermitage museum museum

Boreal nights: organisational issues and sponsors

This event is co-organized by the Young Generation Network of the French Nuclear Society (SFEN), with Isabelle POLI as a mission leader, and by the SREC (State Regional Educational Center) in Saint-Petersburg, with Olga MALETS as a leader.

Olga MALETS (SREC) and Isabelle POLI (SFEN)
Olga MALETS (SREC) and Isabelle POLI (SFEN)

Each of the 2 weeks was organized and funded by each association. On the French side the overall settings was managed by YGN members as well as students from the ECAM engineering school.

The financial arrangement was possible for the French side thanks to the following generous sponsors:

Boreal Nights: technical program

RUSSIA (2nd to 8th of July 2007)
(Non exhaustive)

  • Communication lectures with Dimitri GAVRA (Specialist from the state University of Saint-Petersburg)

  • Conferences on Russian nuclear perspectives

  • Visits Sosnovy-Bor RBMK NPP and ROSATOM communication centre in Saint-Petersburg

FRANCE (9th to15th of July 2007)


  • BUGEY NPP (EDF) meeting with the head of the on-site communication body

  • VISIATOME (CEA), Communication center in Marcoule dealing with the discovery of radioactivity and its uses.

  • Phénix Sodium Cooled Fast Reactor (CEA), research on transmutation of nuclear wastes


  • Francis SORIN (SFEN): “Public debate about nuclear in France: what we learned?”

  • Olivier LAFFITTE (ANCLI): “Law on openness and nuclear safety. New roles of Local Information Commissions”

  • Marie KIRCHNER (Vice-Présidente du Pays du Cotentin) : "The citizens speak about the public debate "

  • Willy FOURNIER (Expert ex-CEA) : "Nuclear communication during 20 years: from public acceptance to public information"

  • Patrick SANDEVOIR (Directeur du Développement économique à la Chambre de Commerce de Nîmes) : “Nuclear and Economy : relations

  • Jean-Claude ARTUS (Professeur d’Université, chef de département du centre de médecine nucléaire de Montpellier): “Find and Solve the ‘obstacles’ of information”

Boreal Nights 4 - 11 July 2007
Boreal Nights 4 - 11 July 2007 - Centrale nucléaire de BUGY

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