Word from the President
Dear members of the ENS,
What a busy first quarter of the year it has been for ENS. In addition to the move to our offices, which took place at the beginning of April, the team successfully organized three conferences, set up two new task forces to improve still further the quality of our conferences and took part in a number of different projects and working groups. But before I speak about some of the main events that happened in the first quarter of this year, I would first like to point out that the second “anniversary” of the Fukushima accident and the twenty-seventh “anniversary” of Chernobyl both recently took place. While both events passed by relatively unnoticed, they provided a salutary reminder of the non-negotiable importance of nuclear safety and of its place at the heart of nuclear research and development.
We kicked off the 2013 conference programme with PIME 2013, our unique international conference for nuclear communicators. This year’s conference was a special one as it marked the silver jubilee of PIME – it is quite an achievement for such a specialised conference to have stood the test of time so well. Reputation management, crisis communications, media training, social media and communicating science and R&D were just some of the key topics which the over 150 participants addressed in the plenary sessions and hands-on workshops. After having reached this remarkable milestone we decided that it was time to give PIME fresh momentum. Therefore, we set up a new Programme Committee to work on creating even more exciting, relevant and focused PIME programmes in the future.
But in addition to PIME there were also a number of other highly successful conferences that took place since the beginning of the year, events that have become regular fixtures on the international nuclear events circuit. ETRAP, with its focus on education in radiological protection, took place in Vienna, from 12 - 15 March 2013. The programme put the spotlight on basic education and specific training aimed at providing a proper understanding of artificial and natural radiation and its management, standards for the recognition of skills and experience and an opportunity to refresh, update and test acquired knowledge and competence on a regular basis.
RRFM (Research Reactor Fuel Management), one of ENS’s flagship events and the leading one of its kind dedicated to research reactors, was held in St. Petersburg, Russia, from 21 - 25 April 2013. By locating the RRFM conference in St. Petersburg we were able to forge new relations with our Russian colleagues. This will, hopefully, be the precursor for a closer and fruitful cooperation in the years to come.
I mentioned already in my last Word from the President message that we had established a task force to improve the attractiveness of the ENC conference for the European nuclear industry. The first new version of ENC took place in Manchester, UK, in December 2012. Among the main topics discussed were new build, the fuel cycle, life sciences, the varied applications of nuclear technology and plant operations. Now the task force is busy planning for the next ENC, which will be held from 11 – 15 May 2014, in Marseilles, France. The first Programme Committee Meeting will be held on 22 May 2013, in Brussels. So, ENC 2014 is already taking shape and will soon be knocking on your door. Mark the dates down in your diaries now!
ENS has continued to focus considerable time and effort so far this year on the ley issue of education and training. The Programme Committee has been busy working on the programme content for the NESTet 2013 conference, which focuses on education and training in the areas of nuclear engineering and technology and is taking place in Madrid, from 17 - 21 November 2013.
Still on the subject of education and training, a triangle of cooperation between ENS, the European Nuclear Education Network (ENEN) and EHRO-N European Human Resources Observatory in Nuclear has been established. Within the framework of this cooperation the three parties have agreed to exchange information with a view to completing and consolidating their respective databases on education and training opportunities - instead of duplicating them. Following discussions the three organisations agreed that ENEN will provide information on its website on nuclear courses, EHRO-N on education opportunities and ENS on career offers.
Finally, we can look forward as well to the European Nuclear Young Generation Forum (www.ENYGF2013.com) that is taking place soon, from 17 - 20 June 2013, in Stockholm.
I hope that you will participate in this conference and in as many ENS events as possible, thereby making sure that your voice is heard at the debating table and that you can broaden and deepen your network of contacts within the global nuclear research community. This is what ENS is all about.
All the best
President of ENS