European Nuclear Society
e-news Issue 33 Summer 2011

European Nuclear Young Generation Forum 2011

By Lenka Heraltová, Ondřej Zlámal, Petr Kovařík, Amy Bird

From 17 – 20 May, the city of Prague, in the Czech Republic, played host to the European Nuclear Young Generation Forum (ENYGF). This biennial meeting of Europe’s young nuclear professionals was organised in association with the European Nuclear Society - Young Generation Network (ENS-YGN). The 2011 Forum was the fourth of its kind. The inaugural one took place in Zagreb (Croatia) in 2005 and was followed by Amsterdam (the Netherlands) in 2007 and Cordoba (Spain) in 2009. In early 2010, the ENS-YGN voted that the Czech Republic would host the 2011 edition.

European Nuclear Young Generation Forum

The Forum was jointly organized by the Czech Young Generation (CYG), ENS-YGN (with added assistance from the wider ENS network), the Czech Technical University in Prague (CTU) and the Czech Nuclear Education Network (CENEN).

The Forum’s goal is to provide an independent and unbiased platform from which young professionals can learn, discuss and further their knowledge of various nuclear topics. The organisers’ objective was to bring together young nuclear professionals in order to encourage communications and enhanced understanding between all sectors of the nuclear industry and to further promote and exploit the natural passion that the young generation has for the industry.

The ENYGF also aims to develop the working relationship between younger and more senior nuclear professionals and to thereby facilitate knowledge transfer, which is a crucial factor in sustaining the nuclear renaissance.

With new build projects under way across the world (including in the UK, France, Finland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia), young nuclear professionals must learn the lessons of the past so as to ensure that new reactors will continue to be built, and that safety and optimal operation will be further encouraged. Such knowledge transfer plays a key role in strengthening the position of nuclear in the region, especially within the context of the current political pressure that exists to phase-out the peaceful application of nuclear energy.

ENYGF 2011 addressed both these central issues of networking between young nuclear professionals and knowledge transfer from senior to junior specialists. Guest speakers from all areas of the nuclear European industry helped educate the young professionals present in Prague and provide them with invaluable insight. Meanwhile, the young professionals’ contributions (both in the form of oral and poster presentations) helped to underline to others present what specific fields are of most interest to them.

The conference also featured a programme of social events, including a boat trip by night on Vltava River to one of the Czech Republic’s most famous sights - Karlstejn Castle.

boat trip by night on Vltava River

Technical trips to important nuclear installations and industrial complexes in and around Prague were also organised, including to three research reactors, the Tokamak, a radioactive waste disposal site and a reactor machinery complex. These visits gave participants a valuable opportunity to learn more about the nuclear environment in the Czech Republic.

Seven topics were voted onto the ENYGF agenda as the result of a special poll. Sessions were slightly adapted to take into account developments at Fukushima and the need to cover more unusual topics. The final list of topics presented at the Forum was as follows:

Each session was chaired by a young professional from ENS-YGN, and featured presentations from both well-known senior experts and other young professionals. Here is an overview of the main sessions:

A total of 211 participants, from 21 countries, representing the nuclear industry and the research and education sectors attended the four days of ENYGF. The majority was Europeans, but delegates from Korea, USA, Argentina and Russia also attended. A breakdown of the attendees is given in Figure 1 below.

 Countries and participants to ENYGF2011

Figure 1: Countries and participants to ENYGF2011

To summarise, ENYGF 2011 provided a worthwhile opportunity for young professionals to meet and mix with Europe’s “nuclear elite” in a friendly and didactic environment.

opportunity for young professionals to meet and mix with Europe’s “nuclear elite”

The local Organisation Committee would like to acknowledge the many people who supported ENYGF 2011. Their dedication and commitment were crucial in making it such a success.

We would also like to express our gratitude to the sponsors:

ENYGF 2011 participants

Additional information, including the presentations, a photo gallery and the book of extended abstracts is available on the official ENYGF2011 website at the following link: www.enygf.eu

© European Nuclear Society, 2011