40th Annual Meeting
The 40th Annual Meeting of the Spanish Nuclear Society (the Spanish acronym is SNE) was held from 1 – 3 October in Valencia, Spain. This year over 600 professionals took part. There were 33 technical sessions on the programme, which presented the industry’s current projects and advances in the form of 300 papers dealing with areas such as nuclear safety, radiological protection, nuclear fuel, plant operation and maintenance, engineering, R+D, communications, etc.
Two monographic sessions for experts were organised. The first one, on the subject of improving emergency management, discussed the current status of implementation with the launch of an Alternative Emergency Management Centre (CAGE) at each site before the end of 2015. Also debated was the creation of a National Emergency Support Centre (CAE) with specialized personnel and resources available to provide assistance within 24 hours, and improved emergency communications systems. All these improvements are already being planned or implemented according to a national action plan, thereby confirming that significant advances can be made and results achieved by working together towards a common objective. The second session dealt with waste management where traditional techniques have given way to new methodologies for volume reduction by means of plasma and its radiological declassification.
Two courses were also offered: one on electrical network stability and the other focusing on innovative contracting models for new nuclear power plant projects.
Twenty-nine stands representing various companies in the industry were present at the exhibition and, as an innovative feature this year, a special meeting was held with 14 firms based in the Community of Valencia, during which business opportunities and possibilities for the sector were presented.
During a Special Session SNE’s future for the next 40 years, as well as its strong current position, were discussed. Nuclear energy is indispensable, but since other energy sources are too it is important that they are competitive and safe for everyone’s benefit. In fact, we can depend on their qualified supervision thanks to our expert Nuclear Safety Council. The Temporary Centralised Storage or ATC (the Spanish acronym), thanks to its dedicated Science Park, is an opportunity for R+D, especially in the field of fuels. SNE continues to work to reach its goal of disseminating knowledge quickly and extensively to the public by means of rigorous and transparent communications through new social networking technologies.
So, SNE’s future is quite promising. The sector is an active player in the international marketplace, where foreign sales of fuel account for 60% of the total market; nuclear equipment manufacturers make up 85% and engineering between 40 and 60%. Young nuclear specialists are well-prepared to take on future responsibilities because they already have the required technical, communications and dissemination skills in their professional DNA.
The following messages were highlighted at the closing session:
SNE will continue to demand a stable and predictable framework of regulations whilst measures designed to strengthen safety at Spanish nuclear plants are being implemented.
SNE will continue to support the long term running (for 60 years or more) of our nuclear power stations.
SNE is firmly committed to operational efficiency and flexibility, to the maintenance of a culture of safety, and to enhancing the public’s acceptance of nuclear energy by means of transparent communications, as mentioned earlier.
SNE is a not-for-profit organisation, founded in 1974 (the membership currently stands at approximately 1,000, which is made up of both individual professionals and institutional members), whose mission is to promote the awareness and the dissemination of knowledge with regards to nuclear science and technology.