Word from the President

May I begin by saying how proud I am to have been elected the new President of the European Nuclear Society. It is a great honour to represent and argue for the interests of ENS and its members, many of whom are friends and colleagues I have had the pleasure of working with for many years. I pledge to do my utmost to serve the membership to the best of my ability, to promote its values and to help it achieve its goals.

In my first contribution ENS NEWS as President to I would like to share with you my vision of the Society’s future and highlight some of what I see as the main priorities and challenges facing it at such a pivotal moment for the development of nuclear science.

David Bonser

David Bonser

At a time when there is increasing recognition around the world that nuclear power must play an important part in future energy supplies I believe that the European Nuclear Society should take a central role in being an authoritative, expert voice. With our broad membership we can draw on skills and knowledge across the board; from the science base underpinned by research reactors through fuel cycle management and the operation of many types of power reactor to the decommissioning, clean up and waste management of redundant facilities.

Society and politicians have concerns about nuclear safety, waste management and economics but they also have wider concerns about energy supply in general, security of supply and the environment. We have the opportunity to ensure that objective and consistent information about the nuclear industry is available and heard. We should continue to set up and support scientific expert groups that can produce well researched position papers and be available to participate in the debate.

ENS members have very different nuclear histories, skills and experiences. We have countries with large and small nuclear installed capacity, some with indigenous full fuel cycle capability and those who import their fuel, those who are building new capacity and those where policy is not favourable to new build, countries at the forefront of research across many aspects of the nuclear industry, those who are in the midst of decommissioning facilities whilst others have yet to face this task, we have a number of different experiences in moving towards the implementation of long term waste management. We are, therefore, in an excellent position to share and learn profound lessons from one another. We must drive for the sharing of this experience amongst our membership so that the European nuclear industry can improve its performance. In turn, we can share best practice with our colleagues around the world by building on our links with American, Asian, Australasian and other nuclear societies.

One of my particular interests is supporting, drawing in and giving a platform to the young generation. We rely on them to provide a strong technical underpinning for our industry now and to provide the leadership for the future. We must continue to support their education and training within the industry. They are also an extremely talented, knowledgeable and committed source of imaginative communicators if we choose to use them. The young generation want to learn about the industry and to make a difference for their futures. They are very willing to energetically take on the debate and, in many circumstances, they are more credible than the ‘grey suits’ of the older generation. I was particularly honoured to receive the Jan Runermark Award from the ENS Young Generation Network in June 2003 for the work I had done in supporting and reinvigorating the UK’s Young Generation Network.

Within the ENS, I strongly support the work that has already been done to underpin sustainable funding routes. I would continue to encourage the ENS working with other societies where that makes economic and strategic sense.

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