ENS-YGN at IYNC 2012
From 5-11 August 2012, the city of Charlotte, in North Carolina, USA, hosted the International Youth Nuclear Congress – IYNC 2012.
The organisation with the same name was created in 1997 with the purpose of representing and uniting the interests of young nuclear specialists from around the world. The newly created entity organised the first congress in 2000, in Bratislava, Slovakia. It continues to host biannual IYNC conferences in different countries around the world in order to encourage diversity and promote the integration of as many young people as possible. The mission of IYNC is to promote information and experience exchange between generations, to prepare future nuclear specialists and to communicate and inform the public on the benefits of nuclear power, thereby supporting its development. This year’s conference was organised in co-operation with the North American Young Generation Network and took place for the first time in the United States. The city of Charlotte is an important economic centre and home to important nuclear companies (AREVA, GE and Westinghouse) and financial companies, such as Bank of America. There are seven nuclear power plants operating in the vicinity of Charlotte.
IYNC 2012 focused on the concept of “strategic planning” in the nuclear field and its ramifications on three components directly linked to the young generation: opportunity, growth and innovation. As was the case with previous congresses, IYNC 2012 benefited from the participation of important keynote speakers from both American and international companies, such as Jean-Pol Poncelet, Director General of FORATOM; Eric van Walle, Director General of SCK-CEN, Belgium; Steven Kuczynski, President and CEO of Southern Company, SUA; Ricardo Perez, President of Westinghouse; Alexander Fertman, Director of the Moscow Nuclear Institute, Russia and Atsuyuki Suzuki, President of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency. These senior experts shared their knowledge and experience with the young professionals present and underlined the importance of continuous training for ensuring high quality performance in the nuclear sector.
The topics under discussion focused on all aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle from design and engineering to operation, maintenance and decommissioning. Other sessions focused on the advances that have been made in nuclear medicine and radioprotection science, as well as in human resources management strategy. A total of 19 interactive workshops were organized highlighting the main concerns and issues driving the nuclear debate. These included: Is nuclear power sustainable? small nuclear power reactors, financing new nuclear projects, the results of the stress tests in different countries, etc. The workshops offered participants an opportunity to discuss these issues and to work together with other participants to find solutions.
The last day of the conference was dedicated to technical visits to the many nuclear facilities around Charlotte: the Electric Power Research - EPRI and UNCC EPIC, a Westinghouse nuclear fuel plant, the University of South Carolina, a VC Summer new plant construction project, the Duke NPP and turbine manufacturing facility and the Palmetto health gamma knife facility.
A total of 600 participants attended the conference in Charlotte, representing 33 countries. 120 technical papers were presented, making this the largest IYNC ever organised.
IYNC 2014 will take place in Burgos, Spain, with the support of Jovenes Nucleares (Young Generation Nuclear in Spain).
President of ENS-YGN