European Young Generation Network Core Committee Meeting Barcelona
The latest European Nuclear Society Young Generation Network (ENS-YGN) Core Committee Meeting (CCM) took place in Barcelona on 29 May. The location and date were chosen to coincide with the European Nuclear Conference (ENC2010) that was held simultaneously in Barcelona from 29 may to 2 June.
The CCM formally began on the 28 May with a technical tour. Participants visited Vandellós II NPP, located in the province of Tarragona, about 150 km south of Barcelona, on the mediterranean coast. Vandellos II NPP, a 1080 MW PWR, is one of the three NNPs belonging to the “Asociación Nuclear Asco-Vandellos” ANAV, (Ascó-Vandellós Nuclear Association). Endesa and Iberdrola are the shareholders of ANAV. The plant started operating in 1988. The YGN members were welcomed by the External Relations Coordinator, who guided the group around the different areas of the plant. After passing several security check-points, the attendees visited the spent fuel building, where they could observe the racks with the fuel assemblies and the turbine building.
Picture 1: YGN members inside Vandellós II NPP
After a very complete visit of Vandellos II NPP, YGN members went to the Tecnatom training facility, located 10 minutes from the plant, and where both Ascó NPP (also sited in the same province) and Vandellós NPP control room simulators are located. Tecnatom is a leading Spanish engineering company that currently designs and operates simulators to train nuclear plant operators. In Tecnatom’s facilities YGN members had the opportunity to obtain first-hand insight into nuclear operations. Tecnatom’s instructors prepared two different simulation scenarios: the first one, a turbine run-back due to the loss of one of the main feed water pumps, and the second a scram due to a turbine trip. The group could follow how the procedures and protocols were thoroughly implemented.
Picture 2: Tecnatom control room simulator
The CCM took place on 29 May in the premises of the UPC-BARCELONATECH (the Polytechnic University of Catalonia), in Barcelona. The meeting was attended by 24 members from 15 national delegations. The day started with the establishment of a working group, which focused its discussions on communications issues. Different national communications strategies were explained and discussed. As a main conclusion, the working group proposed to develop a project which aims to collect material from all countries and to create a YGN leaflet on the topic. Indeed, as agreed within the group, communications in the nuclear industry is essential for providing information in a transparent way to the general public and thus increasing their knowledge of nuclear energy issues and helping overcome misunderstandings and groundless fears. It was agreed that the different delegations would share their communications activities so that a useful benchmark could be carried out in order to adopt the best strategies.
The CCM also featured short briefings about recent activities carried out by the YGN and upcoming events. As part of the meeting agenda the following topics were discussed:
Participation in ENC2010: during ENC2010, ENS-YGN organised three events: an evening event devoted to the Jan Runermark Award and two workshops focusing on:
1). Education and training, entitled Are we still falling into nuclear by chance and 2). CO2 emissions avoidance, entitled Nuclear energy and climate change.
Next year’s ENS Young Generation Forum, which will be held in Prague: the Czech delegation showed a video and informed YGN members about the progress that has been made in recent months.
COP 16: the opportunity to participate in the next UNFCCC that will take place in Mexico next December and for which some volonteers will be needed to update previous work and elaborate new material to present communications issues
The meeting finished with a dinner in Barcelona city centre.
The next ENS-YGN CCM will take place in Vienna in mid-September.
Special thanks go to:
Jose María Grávalos (ANAV General Director)
Montse Godall (PR Manager)
Antonio Moruno (Tecnatom Training facility Manager)
Javier Dies (Prof. Ph.D. UPC-BARCELONATECH (Polytechnic University of Catalonia))
Spanish Nuclear Society Board