THE PROSPECTS FOR YOUNG NUCLEAR SPECIALISTS IN
THE NEW EUROPE - WORKSHOP ON PIME CONFERENCE AND COMMUNICATION
OF YOUNG NUCLEAR SPECIALISTS IN HUNGARY - WINNER OF FIRST PIME
AWARD FOR COMMUNICATION EXCELLENCE
University of Zagreb, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing
Unska 3, HR - 10000 Zagreb - Croatia
KFKI Atomic Energy Research Institute
Konkoly Thege Miklos ut 29-33, H - 1121 Budapest - Hungary
In fast changing Europe European Young Generation
Network (YGN) organised workshop “The prospects for young
nuclear specialists in the new Europe” at ENS PIME 2005
conference in Paris. Purpose of the workshop was to reveal employment
possibilities for young nuclear specialists and nuclear energy
prospects in new Europe. On the workshop four young and four senior
nuclear specialists from different organisations and different
countries present their view on possibilities for professional
career in nuclear field. Year 2005 is known as International year
of Physics but also as tenth anniversary of European Young Generation
Network. Nevertheless year 2005 in YGN world will be also remembered
because of the fact that first PIME award for communication excellence
was won by Hungarian YGN for their presentation about communication
of young nuclear specialists in Hungary.
In year 2005, International year of Physics,
European Nuclear Society Young Generation Network is celebrating
its tenth anniversary. With the aim to emphasise this important
anniversary ENS YGN has been preparing many activities throughout
the year. The first action was organisation of YGN workshop on
the topic “The prospects for young nuclear specialists in
the new Europe” at international conference ENS PIME 2005
in Paris. Since May 1st 2004, European Union has 25 member states.
European market is now much bigger and more nuclear specialists
have arrived on the market. The aim of workshop on PIME was to
help young nuclear specialists to find the answer on the question:
What kind of future, young nuclear specialists can expect
for themselves in this fast growing and fast changing Europe?
To get answer on this and similar questions four young
and four senior nuclear specialists from different organisations
and different countries were invited to present their views on
this topic. Independently from this workshop two members of Hungarian
YGN registered their paper on another workshop on PIME 2005 conference.
They wanted to present the way how young nuclear specialists communicate
2. YGN Workshop
The first part of the YGN workshop was dealing
with knowledge transfer from experienced nuclear specialist toward
First speaker was Miss. Marta Ferrari from International
Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) who presented her view on the topic:
"Towards knowledge-based economies: How research institutes
can play a role." According to this presentation new environment
for researchers offers new challenges and opportunities. They
can no longer assume that enough financial support will come from
the state subsidy. However, this can be an opportunity if less
legislative constraints mean that other, greater sources of funds
become available. The need to go out in the market and compete
for funds is making the old stereotype of the scientist closed
in his laboratory outdated. A closer relationship with stakeholders
and end-users is again a mixed blessing. It could bring ideas
and stimuli to the research but it requires scientists, especially
the ones that have managerial responsibilities, to develop new
skills to be able to understand clients’ needs and to market
their product and service. Among these skills, communication is
probably the most important. The IAEA, through its Technical Cooperation
programme, assists the nuclear RDIs in its Member States to build
human and technical capacities to contribute to the well-being
of their countries. It will continue to provide education and
training to ensure that scientists are well equipped to face the
new challenges of the knowledge economy.
Second speaker was Mr. Sami Tulonen from FORATOM
with presentation named "Comeback of nuclear energy in the
European Union." The outlook for the European Union in next
25 years is that the energy demand will rise for 19% between year
2000 and 2030. Rising dependency on oil, natural gas and coal
supply is not desirable solution. Europe will face with the risk
of security of supply and huge negative environmental impacts
which will be the result of nuclear phase-out in several member
states, insufficient growth of renewables and replacement of a
significant part of nuclear generation by fossil fuels. According
to Mr. Tulonen this outlook is politically, economically and environmentally
unacceptable! There are many positive political indicators which
will support nuclear comeback. Nuclear phase-out policy in several
Member States will be reversed. Nuclear energy outlook for EU-27
by the end of the 2004-2009 legislative period probably will be:
15 nuclear Member States, and,
4 Member States (Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia and Poland)
will most likely be building, or planning to build, nuclear
"Nuclear Power Plants May Well be Dinosaurs" were title
of the presentation of Dr. Philipp Hänggi from Swissnuclear.
His conclusions were:
The Nuclear industry needs to hurry to be prepared in time
for a comeback.
Synergies between the old and the young generation are more
important than ever.
New ideas and a lot of energy are necessary to trigger a
chain reaction of motivation within the young specialists.
The Young Generation Network is ready to engage in the future!
The last speaker in first part of the workshop
was Prof. Mihály Makai from Hungarian Atomic Energy Research
Institute (KFKI) with the presentation "To whom belongs the
future?" Professor Makai state it that the future belongs
to the youth, but there will be a sharp competition among Asia,
America, and Europe. In the energy sector, Europe may face a crisis.
Young people must be encouraged to face the challenge and to resolve
emerging problems with support from senior generation.
In the second part of the workshop four young
nuclear specialists presented their view on the proposed topic.
First presenter was Mrs. Isabelle Philippe from French YGN with
the presentation "The prospects for young nuclear specialists
in the new Europe". Mrs. Phillipe emphasised the importance
of communication between young nuclear specialists which is according
to her view the most important factor for new bridges in new Europe.
Dr. Marko Giacomelli from Slovenian YGN had a
presentation about nuclear careers in Slovenia, EU new member
state. Dr. Giacomelli informed the audience that Young Generation
Network of Slovenian Nuclear Society organised round table with
the question: What is the prospect for nuclear career in Slovenia?
The title “Nuclear Career” aimed at students or young
graduates in various study fields. Purpose of the round table
was an investigation of prospects of education, employment, and
research in Slovenia and European countries. The representatives
from state administration, education, industry, and a Slovenian
liaison with the IAEA offered different aspects on professional
career in the field of nuclear energy. On the round table was
determined that there is a lack of young professionals, which
is a consequence of a general decrease of interest in technical
sciences combined with traditionally negative opinion on nuclear
energy. It was noted that these professions are also on the priority
list for state budget funding in the near future. As Slovenia
is now member of EU, mobility across Europe will become easier,
therefore additional number of scientists and engineers may employ
themselves abroad. For those who really take up a challenge of
further education or training outside his/her own country, at
least comparable conditions to the ones abroad should be offered
when coming back in order to prevent a brain drain from Slovenia.
Dr. Enrico Mainardi from Italian YGN presented
his view on role of nuclear association and young generation in
the energy and nuclear debate in Italy. A reconsideration of the
nuclear option in Italy can be beneficial together with an effective
discussion performed by expert. Italian nuclear association can
therefore play an important role promoting the peaceful applications
of nuclear technologies. In the energy debate nuclear power can
provide a more balanced energy mix and it can decrease the energy
dependence from abroad.
Mr. Martin Luthander from Swedish YGN presented
International Youth Nuclear Congress (IYNC), the world biggest
Young Generation Network activity. Martin Luthander is also the
General Co-Chair of IYNC 2006 which will be held in Sweden and
3. Conclusions from the YGN Workshop
The workshop was well attended and audience
participated actively in panel discussion. Young nuclear specialists
got important answers from seniors. The organisation of this workshop
required good cooperation between generations and showed clear
route for future cooperation. ENS-YGN proofed that it is well
organised and we take our mission very seriously.
The most encouraged facts are:
There is future for nuclear specialists in New Europe. Still,
there are big differences between countries and some young
nuclear specialist will have to look for their jobs abroad.
There are especially positive indicators in new member states,
because the majority of them are so called ‘nuclear
On the young generation is to find challenges in nuclear
There are many positive political indicators which support
nuclear comeback. (Sami Tulonen)
Nuclear Power Plants may well be Dinosaurs! Kids love dinosaurs!
Dinosaurs dominated the world for over 150 Mio. years. (Philipp
Science is not independent from what happens
in politics, economy and society. Trends in economics and in society
change what is expected of science and how it is organised. Eventually,
these changes alter the way scientists work and how they interact
and communicate with society.
Economic trends usually manifest in a few developed
countries and then spread around the world. After WWII, economic
doctrine preached a big role for the government but by the 1980s
the economic mainstream demanded primacy for the private sector,
with less government direction and funding. More recently, the
trend is to a compromise solution in which government is seen
as a regulator and a provider of limited services through public
agencies that it funds and public and private enterprises that
it supervises. The concept of the Public Private Partnership has
Another influential change during the last 20
years is that, following the example of countries like Finland,
more countries pursue growth by converting their productive system
into a knowledge economy. The creation and use of knowledge is
not necessarily focused on high-technology sectors. All industries
need technology to be competitive. Small and medium size enterprises
are considered a major source of growth.
4. PIME award for communication excellence – Hungarian
The vital role that communicators play in promoting
nuclear energy is sometimes taken for granted...but not by ENS
and PIME! The inaugural PIME Communications Award, which was presented
at PIME 2005 in Paris, is meant to help ensure that the best communications
efforts get the visibility and credit they deserve. ENS-YGN is
very proud of Hungarian Young Generation Network who got the first
PIME Award for Communication Excellence for their outstanding,
unconventional, bold and effective communications campaign at
the Island Festival in Budapest. This Hungarian YGN activity deserves
special attention and the summary is presented below.
The Island Festival is an increasingly popular
international cultural festival held each year in Budapest. It
attracts several hundred thousands of mostly young people, who
may choose from concerts, ballets, operas, motion and dance theatre
performances, exhibitions, sports events, etc. Over 100 non-governmental
organisations are present and provide services during the Festival,
including several green organisations.
Year 2004 was the sixth consecutive year where
Hungarian YGN took part in the programmes of the Island Festival,
and the most successful so far. In the Nuclear Tent standing in
the so called Civil Village they received visitors with three
different-level questionnaires in Hungarian, English and German.
Talking about their answers they could exchange views and give
up-to-date information concerning interesting and current topics
about nuclear energy and technology. Each year, the Festival is
a unique opportunity to address young people on their own ground,
in a colloquial, however, technically accurate way.
Figure 1. Atmosphere on Island Festival
In the course of the Festival, Hungarian YGN
also had the opportunity to address the public via the media,
namely, they gave several interviews and participated in discussions
organised by different radio stations. On one of the stages Attila
Aszódi, ministerial commissioner then and former president
of the Young Generation Network in Hungary, gave a clear and interesting
presentation about the incident occurred in April 2003 at Paks
NPP and about the steps taken to remedy the situation.
A video has been made in order to present the
atmosphere of the Festival and the activity in the Nuclear Tent.
The activity of the Hungarian YGN has been appreciated
several times even on an international level, by members of ENS-YGN.
So far, however, this remained a verbal appreciation only. PIME
2005 and the credit of the PIME Communications Award brought about
a turning point in this situation, presenting the Hungarian and
ENS-YGN efforts to the entire international nuclear community.
Figure 2. Award ceremony at PIME 2005
The new environment for young nuclear specialists
offers new challenges and opportunities. ENS – YGN clearly
showed its presence and in near future it can be expected that
YGN will be even more active and more aggressive with its aim
to provide a space for young nuclear specialists.
 Papers and presentations from YGN workshop
on International conference ENS PIME 2005, Paris, France;
 K. Kulacsy, T. Plazmadi "How young nuclear specialists
in Hungary communicate.", International conference ENS PIME
2005, Paris, France;