Word from the President

As those of you who attended ENC 2007 (from 16-20 September 2007) already know the conference was co- chaired by ENS President Frank Deconinck and Marcel Maris, Chairman of the Belgian Nuclear Society. In their joint welcoming address the chairmen highlighted the main structure, themes and objectives behind the extensive ENC 2007 programme, underlined the great work carried out in support of the conference by its sponsors and co-organisers, as well as by the numerous exhibitors that contributed to the impressive industry and research exhibitions. Above all the chairmen emphasised the special ethos of this the latest edition of what is a major event on the international nuclear research agenda - to share new knowledge and experience, to focus on solutions and to seek to promote innovative, cutting edge and multidisciplinary research that will provide positive results for industry and for society as a whole. The ENC 2007 message Inspire yourself …and others says it all.

Here is the welcoming address delivered by Frank and Marcel.

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen

We would like to welcome you wholeheartedly to Nuclear Conference 2007 conference and hope that by attending this 3-day conference you will indeed inspire and be inspired.

This European Nuclear Conference has been created to provide an increased focus on research, while at the same time calling our attention to the broader context in which, we think, the nuclear world should be seen.

The Programme Committee, which we would like to thank for the superb job that it has done, has put together a programme based on three central parallel tracks: "New reactor & energy technologies", "Fuel cycle and nuclear operations" and, last but not least, "Medical nuclear applications".

In the “New reactor and energy technologies” track the topics under discussion include advanced reactors, Generation IV reactors, an update on future concepts, countries' perspectives on nuclear energy policy and future projects and research reactors. They cover a range of subjects which take us from today’s feasible and improved designs, tools and technologies to a glimpse of what current developments will lead us to. In addition, 3 countries will present their individual views on nuclear energy policy. Finally, the presentations on “Plant life extension” and “Maintenance and operation” will address various aspects that are of fundamental importance to today’s plant operators.

The “Fuel cycle and operations” track will focus first on reprocessing, before turning its attention to advanced fuel designs and applications, core design and protection. It will conclude with new developments in fuel technology. After a session on decommissioning, there will be a number of sessions addressing various interesting aspects in the areas of waste and transport.

This year, we added a track on medical applications in ENC to emphasise the important role played by applications of nuclear science in diagnosis and therapy. As the subject is not a traditional ENC one we have invited some world-renowned experts to talk about radio-labelling and imaging technology, clinical applications and radioprotection.

It certainly is not our intention to compete with our scientific sister societies in the field. Instead, we want to create links between ENS and our sister societies, and inform our respective members about the exciting developments in adjacent fields of research and development. Too many researchers and industrialists working in nuclear energy are unaware of the developments in nuclear imaging, radio-labelling, radiotherapy etc... Vice-versa, the medical community may not always be aware of the most recent techniques or advances in isotope production and radiochemistry, radiobiology or radioecology. We hope that this conference will trigger a better understanding and increased collaboration between both.

The subjects of the plenary keynote presentation and debate sessions illustrate the broader context fairly well.

Today, Monday, these sessions will address:

  • The EU research policy

  • The politics of science and technology

  • Business’ and industries’ view on science and R&D policy, challenges and needs

  • Science as “living knowledge”: Education and training policy and knowledge management

Tomorrow you will be able to learn more about the following subjects:

“ The human factor in risk governance: aspects of awareness and responsibility,” “The benefits, costs and hurts of nuclear medicine” and “Social awareness." These sessions will not just be about receiving and processing the latest information – there will also be a strong emphasis on participation.

On Wednesday, the last session will address state-of-the-art European research policy in the field of nuclear and medical science and technology and science and society issues. It will include contributions on “Educational activities in the EMIL network: the Orsay technological and training platform for small nuclear imaging” and on “Research: a sine qua non for the nuclear sector.”

A programme of separate topical workshops is also offered to delegates and you are, of course, invited to participate in the workshops that deal with the subjects that interest you most.

We are very happy to see that the ENS Young Generation (YG) is also organising its own workshops. In addition, it will present a briefing on the presentations made in each of the 3 research tracks at the end of the conference.

Finally we would like to invite you to attend the plenary panel debate entitled: “Science and Society”, where we will have the honour of welcoming the Rector of the VUB - Prof. B. Van Camp and Maria-Laura Franciosi, an experienced journalist.

We are particularly grateful to our diamond sponsor, Suez, who has indeed a considerable vested interest in nuclear energy today – which will probably be even greater in the future.

We would also like to thank our Gold sponsor, AREVA, which is recognised worldwide as a major player in the field of nuclear energy.

Our special thanks also go to the American Nuclear Society (ANS) and the Belgian Nuclear Society (BNS), as well as to the IAEA and the OECD/NEA, who have all given their invaluable support to ENC 2007.

Finally, a great vote of thanks goes to the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, who agreed to host this conference on its campus.

We hope that you will indeed find great inspiration from attending the presentations, by visiting the research exhibition, the science café and the industry exhibition and by having a look at the poster gallery.

It is now our privilege to kick off ENC 2007 by introducing the first group of keynote speakers, who will address the subject of current and future EU research policy:

  • Mr. Roland Schenkel, DG at the Joint Research Centre of the EC, at Petten,

  • Mr. Fernandez-Ruiz, Director of Directorate J, Energy-Euratom, in the Directorate General “Research” of the EC and

  • Mrs. Maria Isabella Detand, who represents the Belgian Minister of Economy, Energy, Foreign Trade and Science Policy, Marc Verwilghen

Thank you very much gentlemen for taking part in ENC 2007 – your presence is greatly appreciated. The floor is yours.

Thank you.


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