The Romanian Association for Nuclear Energy celebrates 20 years of activity
An important event for the nuclear sector in Romania took place on October 22: the celebration of 20 years of activity of the Romanian Association for Nuclear Energy (AREN).
It was a small family celebration that included several messages, lots of memories and a few little surprises.
AREN was founded in 1990, during a period of great hope, expectations and plans for the future, after the fall of the communist regime in Romania. However, the nuclear programme in Romania had already started several decades earlier, under communist control. Romanian scientists were world-renowned for their progress in the field and by the time the democratic regime came into power in Romania, they rallied in a non-governmental organization aimed at promoting nuclear energy. The purpose of the Association was clear from the beginning as there was a challenge to be met - the nuclear sectoreld had to survive, to get funding and develop.
The Association is made up of individual members from nuclear companies and organisations in Romania, who work for it on a voluntary basis. Currently, AREN has around 200 members.
The nucleus of the Association consisted of young and determined engineers and researchers who realised the importance of nuclear power for Romania’s future. The Association’s objectives included promoting the peaceful use of nuclear energy, informing and educating the population, supporting the national nuclear programme, improving safety culture and exchanging ideas and experience with international agencies.
In 1991, AREN became affiliated to the European Nuclear Society (ENS) and started to organise events and conferences on an increasing scale since 1993. One of the most prominent and long-established activities of the Association is the organisation of the International Symposium for Nuclear Energy, which is held in Bucharest every two years.
During two decades of activity the involvement of the Association became more visible and its actions have diversified to include focusiing on more areas of the general public, such as children, pupils and students, women etc. The Association also represented a model for the brilliant minds of the time, granting support to young engineers and researchers in Romania to complete their career and publish their works.
AREN has two branches: Women in Nuclear, affiliated to WiN Global, and the Young Generation Network, which is also recognised within the international network.
The anniversary celebrations organised on October 22 at the Politehnica University of Bucharest represented an opportunity that many Romanian scientists, professors, business men embraced as an occasion to get together and revive their memories about the history of the Association. Speeches were given by prominent members of the Association, who expressed their confidence in the future of nuclear power in Romania and pledged their continuous support for the industry. The presidents of the major actors involved in the nuclear field - the Regulatory Body (CNCAN), the Nuclear Agency for Radioactive Waste and the University Politechnica of Bucharest - delivered their messages of congratulations and also thanks for the great involvement of AREN in promoting the Romanian nuclear energy sector.
A brief review of the main events that have taken since December 1, 1992, first performed under the title "Days of Romanian nuclear power " and including the 2010 events was provided in an art exhibition.
The President of the Association, Mihaela Stiopol, encouraged the young generation and concluded that nuclear is the “tip of the sword” …. In the future, the Association plans to develop more lobby activities and have a bigger influence upon the authorities. It also plans to continue its’ activities dedicated to informing the young generation and promoting nuclear power with the general public. Alongside the anniversary conference, AREN exhibited children drawings from the various contests that were organised organized in the previous years by the Association.