Country Report - France
The SFENJG (French Nuclear Society Young Generation) has been working actively to establish a strong and dynamic network. SFENJG’s mission is to share knowledge amongst young nuclear professionals by giving presentations in universities, by organising interviews and visits and by participating in conferences. Another objective is to share experiences and knowledge at a European and international level with our colleagues, thereby remaining open to new possibilities and developing our networking capability. The network is also willing to make the French nuclear industry in general more accessible to our international counterparts.
Amongst the most recent interviews that we have carried out is one with Dominique Minière, EDF’s Senior Vice President, Deputy Chief Operating Officer, and the President of SFEN. Another was with Thibault Labalette, Programme Director at ANDRA. Both interviews were in French. Our desire to share knowledge and experience internationally, however, also led us to conduct some of our interviews in English, for example the one with François Gauché of the CEA, who spoke about the Sodium Fast Reactor ASTRID (see below).
Making French nuclear facilities more accessible to our counterparts is also a major international objective. Our Belgian and Dutch colleagues were able, therefore, to visit the La Hague and Flamanville sites in October 2013. They were also able to share a convivial dinner with young professionals and SFEN active members.
Over the last months a great deal of effort has been put in by SFENJG for the organisation of our annual event Atoms for the Future on Nuclear Energy and Power Grid, opening the debate to the different energy sources and discussing a range of grid related issues (flexibility need, volatility of Renewables, black-out situations, load-follow and impact on reactor design and emergency operation, etc.). What better introduction could there have been to this conference, which was attended by 250 international participants, than a motivating speech from Dominique Minière, who shared the good news on the Hinkley Point project in the UK? His introductory speech set the tone for this conference, highlighting the challenges that have yet to be faced and the objectives to be achieved if nuclear energy is to reach out to young professionals.
After two days of discussions driven by high-ranking speakers (Christophe Béhar, CEA Director of Nuclear Energy Division; Philippe Knoche, AREVA Chief Operating Officer and Member of the Executive Board; Michael Fuchs, E.ON Head of Technology; Ron Cameron, Head of OECD/NA Nuclear Development Division; Hadid Subki, IAEA Technical Lead for SMR Technology Development; etc.), the 55 participants also had an opportunity to visit EDF’s Les Renardières research centre, as well as the RTE Dispatching Centre and the Dampierre NPP. The great success of this conference was a great source of motivation and a positive step forwards for the organisation of the European ENYGF2015 conference.
In order to maintain and share the strong motivation that it has to help its colleagues around the world SFENJG is pleased to announce that the topic of the Atoms for the Future 2014 conference will be Design, construction and licensing of Nuclear Power Plants. We will come back to you soon regarding this event, hoping that many of you will attend this open and truly international conference!