Issue No. 21 Summer
(July 2008)


ENS News

Word from the President

The case for nuclear energy is not solely linked to global warming

ENS Events


NESTet 2008 - YGN Reporter

PIME 2009

RRFM 2009

Member Societies & Corporate Members

High Pressure - Boiling Water Reactor, HP-BWR

NUSIM 2008

MINA 2008

Why the Bulgarian Nuclear Society insist that the “small units” at Kozloduy NPP remain operational

Annual General Meeting of KTG and the German Atomic Forum takes place in Hamburg

UK Societies announce nuclear merger

The SNE magazine analyzes the results of the nuclear power plants in 2007

MYRRHA a new future for nuclear research

Spent fuel pool emptying, drainage and purging at EUREX Plant (Italy)

YGN Report

Nestet YGN Reporter

North American Young Generation at a Nuclear Congress in Chicago

European Institutions

Nuclear Forum working on roadmap for the development of nuclear in the EU

Nuclear Energy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Avoidance in the European Union

Position Paper on Nuclear Energy’s Contribution to a post-2012 Climate Policy

ENS World News

NucNet News

ENS Members

Links to ENS Member Societies

Links to ENS Corporate Members

Editorial staff


30.9. - 3.10. 2008
in Dubrovnic, Croatia


PIME 2009
15 - 17 February 2009
in Edinburgh, UK


RRFM 2009
22.3. - 25.3.2009
in Vienna, Austria








Not that long ago, during the dark days of the nuclear recession, public perceptions about nuclear energy were often largely conditioned by preconceived ideas and misconceptions. Unscientific rhetoric about nuclear had succeeded in banishing nuclear it to the fringes of the energy debate and maintaining its taboo status. Well, to quote Bob Dylan, “…the times they are a changing….” Nuclear energy is back at the top of the global political agenda. Even people who have always been unconditionally and ideologically opposed to nuclear energy cannot deny this fact. Today, they face a new foe that they have not faced in recent times – a confident and resurgent nuclear sector that is active at the very core of the debate.

As the nuclear revival has gathered momentum public opinion in favour of nuclear energy has increased, as nuclear’s strong security of supply and climate change credentials have become more apparent. This has promoted a new spirit of pragmatism. Many sceptics and fence-sitters have been won over. The results of the latest Eurobarometer survey, entitled Attitudes towards Radioactive Waste, which was published by the European Commission at the beginning of July, testify to this. They show that since the previous Eurobarometer on radioactive waste was published in 2005, there has been a gradual and significant evolution of public opinion in favour of nuclear power. There are now virtually as many EU citizens in favour of nuclear energy (44%) as against it (45%). This compares with 37 % in favour and 55% against in 2005. This suggests that there is no reason to believe that public opposition will prevent nuclear new build from going ahead.

Of course, radioactive waste remains a major concern but, according to the survey, 40% of those who are currently against nuclear have indicated that if the issue of radioactive waste storage were solved they would change their mind and be in favour of nuclear. A majority of EU citizens would then be in favour of it – 61% compared with the 57% registered in the 2005 Eurobarometer.

This positive evolution in public acceptance reflects the nuclear revival in Europe. Even in countries where a nuclear phase-out policy is being implemented, debates on the issue are taking place and support for nuclear power is quite strong (Sweden 62%, Germany 46%, Belgium 50%). Recent political declarations show that nuclear is continuing to gather momentum. In Italy the new government recently declared that it plans to restart the country's nuclear power programme. The British government revealed last month that it is planning the construction of new units. The French government announced on 3 July that a second EPR would be built in France. This suggests that when political decisions to increase nuclear capacity are taken, public acceptance tends to improve - as has been the case in the UK (+6%), and in Italy (+13%).

Another interesting statistic to emerge from the Eurobarometer is that the greater the knowledge of nuclear issues, the greater the degree of public acceptance. On average EU citizens do not feel that they are well-informed about nuclear maters, especially when it comes to radioactive waste. However, in countries where the level of knowledge is greater, like Sweden, Finland and the Netherlands, public opinion is also more favourable to nuclear power. It’s all about effective communications.

Before we all head off for a well-earned summer break it might be useful to consider how we could do more to positively influence public opinion through good communications, while at the same time giving deserved added visibility to the research that we carry out. The results of the Eurobarometer underline how everyone in the nuclear science community, whether working in industry or in research, has a joint responsibility to ensure that the right information about nuclear reaches the public. Informing the public that, for example, technological solutions for the safe long-term management of radioactive waste exist and are being applied must be a priority. If people knew more about Generation IV reactors they would soon realise that this new technology will actually help to reduce the amount of waste produced in the first place.

Perhaps we could have done more in the past. Perhaps communications have not been our primary focus. But with the revival in full swing and people more prepared to listen to us than ever before in recent times we have a great opportunity to set the record straight and inform people of the real facts – an opportunity that we cannot afford to miss.

ENS PIME 2009 will take place in Edinburgh from February 15 – 17. It offers all those in the nuclear community who are actively involved in communications the opportunity to share their experiences with their peers, to discuss the latest communications issues and techniques, to learn new communications skills and to master new tools. I strongly recommend that you participate in PIME 2009 to fine tune your communications skills. As the Eurobarometer has shown us, the more people know about nuclear the more they are in favour of it. As far as communicating to young people is concerned – and I’m sure our friends from the Young Generation would agree - the facts clearly and simply communicated can also help attract more talented individuals to a career in nuclear science or industry – something that would be in everyone’s interest. So, let’s get out there and do all we can to make it known to the public. We’re walking the walk, now let’s talk the talk.

ENS NEWS N° 21 kicks off with the traditional Word from the President feature. This time the President focuses on the important role and work of ENS’ High Scientific Council, before highlighting its Position Paper on research Reactors that was published at RRFM 2008, in Hamburg. Andrew Teller’s analytical eye then focuses on the subject of how climate change is not the sole issue that supports the case for nuclear energy.

The ENS Events section first reflects on a very successful NESTet 2008 conference, which put the debating spotlight on the subject of education and training in the nuclear sector. It then looks forward to what promises to be an extremely busy conference schedule in 2008 and 2009, with detailed information on upcoming events like Top Safe 2008 (Dubrovnik, 30/09 – 3/10), PIME 2009 (Edinburgh, 15 - 17/02) and RRFM 2009 (Vienna, 22 – 25/03).

This edition’s Member Societies and Corporate Members section has a record number of contributions that look at a range of subjects from the latest information on high pressure boiling reactors, to NUSIM - the joint conference of the Czech, Slovak and German nuclear societies; from the MINA 2008 conference (Spain) on new nuclear engineering applications, to spent fuel pool emptying and drainage at the EUREX plant, in Italy.

The summer focus on the Young Generation’s recent activities first returns to NESTet 2008, with a youthful and informative insight into the vitally important subject of recruiting the nuclear engineers and scientists of tomorrow. Next up is a report on the latest conference organized by the North American chapter of YGN, in Chicago, which concentrated, among other things on the multinational and multicultural challenges that the nuclear renaissance poses.

At was is a very busy time for EU nuclear energy policy, the bumper European Institutions section provides readers with a detailed analysis of the progress of the European Nuclear Energy Forum (ENEF), the latest EU carbon avoidance figures and a FORATOM position paper on nuclear energy’s contribution to post-Kyoto climate change policy.

ENS NEWS N° 21 is rounded off with a couple of NucNet headline stories from the beginning of July.

On behalf of everyone at ENS I would like to wish all ENS NEWS readers a great summer holiday.

Mark O’Donovan
Editor-in-Chief, ENS NEWS


Word from the President

The High Scientific Council (HSC) plays an important role within ENS. Its remit is to bring to the attention of the scientific community, as well as the wider public, information on the very latest developments in cutting edge scientific research and development.


The case for nuclear energy is not solely linked to global warming

Nobody denies global warming nowadays, but some scientists do question its causation by man-made carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.


TopSafe 2008

The conference will provide a forum for addressing the current status and future perspectives with regards to safety at nuclear installations worldwide. It is organized in cooperation with the Croatian Nuclear Society (HND).




The NESTet Education and Training conference took place on 4 - 8 May 2008 in Budapest, Hungary. The NESTet conference was organised for the very first time in history and despite of being first of a kind - conference, it was attended by 130 participants from 29 different countries, which made it an incredible success.


Pime 2009


Make a note in your diary now…. PIME 2009 will take place from 8 to 11 February 2009 in Scotland’s beautiful capital city, Edinburgh!


RRFM 2009

Mark you Diary!

RRFM 2009 will take place in Vienna, Austria
from 22.3. - 25.3.2009.

The ENS Research Reactor Fuel Management Conference is the best place to exchange knowledge and experience about research reactors! Each year an impressive number of actively involved stakeholders attend this conference.


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