Spain hosts ENS Young Generation Network meeting,
by José Luis Perez
and Manuel Martin of the Spanish Young Generation Network
Luis Perez |
For the first time, Spain
was the location for the ENS’s Young Generation Network
(YGN) Board Meeting, which coincided with the start of the
ENS nuclear communicators’ conference, PIME 2004,
in Barcelona on 8 March. Hospitality was the watchword for
members of ‘Jóvenes Nucleares’, the Spanish
Nuclear Society’s (SNE’s) Nuclear Young Generation
Committee, who took on the lion’s share of all the
work involved in organising both the meeting and the technical
visit on the preceding Saturday.
Thirteen of 17 European countries
were represented at the Board Meeting, of which there are
routinely three held annually. Generally, these meetings
are devoted to deciding on, organising and monitoring YGN
activities – both nationally and internationally –
in the pursuit of the universal YGN goals.
effecting a transfer of knowledge between the older and the
young generation in the nuclear field, in the interests of
turning out well-trained professionals equipped to satisfy
current and future needs;
encouraging young people to have an interest in nuclear technology,
and to consider it as a career; and
promoting exchanges of experience among young nuclear professionals
from different European countries.
At the 8 February meeting, held at the same hotel as PIME,
the YGN representatives evaluated their networks’ activities
carried out since their last meeting, which had taken place in
Vienna in 2003. As is customary at all YGN Board Meetings, representatives
from each of the countries were, in turn, tasked with briefly
summarising their respective country’s report. The latest
of these reports (from 8 February) – providing track records
of each national YGN’s activities over a specified period
– can be viewed on, and downloaded from, the ENS website:
Fittingly, as Spain was the host country, Jóvenes
Nucleares got the ball rolling, explaining the impetus it has
given to its activities, through its organisational structure.
The Spanish representative emphasised the key activities carried
out last year as well as those planned for future programmes.
Highlights from 2003 were conferences, participation in the technical
committee for the Spanish Nuclear Society’s (SNE’s)
Annual Meeting and the impulse given to boosting young generation
membership. Jóvenes Nucleares’ various future programmes
will focus on: further conferences in high schools and universities;
updating its website; creating and maintaining its database of
all its members; and being actively involved in the SNE’s
activities, with emphasis on the Annual Meeting.
Following the presentations of the country reports,
discussion at the Board Meeting moved on to the ENS YGN’s
participation in different activities related to nuclear energy
– such as PIME, the ENS General Assembly in Vienna on 25
June, and the third biennial International Youth Nuclear Congress
(IYNC) in Toronto on 9-13 May 2004.
Lunch in a nearby restaurant was swiftly proceeded
by a shift in the meeting’s focus, to internal matters.
And, although full, the afternoon’s programme included a
brief but illuminating presentation by Sami Tulonen of the European
Atomic Forum, FORATOM, branch of the ENS’s joint secretariat.
Sami spoke on FORATOM’s actions in the European Commission,
stressing the importance of some of the Eastern European countries’
imminent integration into the European Union (EU), taking into
account their operation of nuclear power plants (NPPs).
Hospitalet de I’Infant and Ascó Nuclear
Power Station technical visit
The first stop of the Saturday,
7 February YGN technical visit was Hospitalet de I’
Infant. Here, the group met their hospitable and enthusiastic
host, James Ferrús, a member of the communication
team in the Ascó-Vandellós centres. Mr Ferrús
conducted their visit to the Tecnatom-owned simulators for
the Ascó I & II and Vandellós power stations.
The simulators provide an essential means for training the
operators who work in these power stations, as they simulate
perfectly the real working environment in the control rooms.
With unflagging dedication, Mr Ferrús
then led the group on a tour of the whole building, which
Tecnatom devotes to providing training services. It is
this availability of facilities that contributes to the
fact that the Ascó and Vandellós Centres
are equipped with highly qualified operative, maintenance
and engineering staff, as well as sound technical support.
Next on the programme was Ascó
NPP, which is run by companies belonging to the Endesa Group
and Iberdrola. There, the group made their way to the visitors’
centre, which has received some 80.000 visitors.
Afterwards, while continuing
to be guided by Mr Ferrús, they visited the huge
cooling tower located near the banks of the Ebro River,
which is surrounded by scenic landscape. By all reports,
when inside the tower, the members of the group’s
general consensus was that they were sure that their echoing
questions emulated the steam produced by the concrete giant
when it is in operation.
Photo opportunities were maximised, following which, the
YGN Spanish hosts took time out to show off the gastronomy
of the region to their guests. The latter did not need much
encouragement to go to the restaurant, apparently. We have
it on the best authority that the tasty culinary delights
elicited great joy (the fact that there were several early-risers
among the participants and that it was three o’clock
in the afternoon surely played a part in contributing to
Lacking the time to visit
Vandellós NPP, the group set off back to Barcelona
since a lot of work awaited them during the Board Meeting
the next day.
Spanish YGN calls on young nuclear professionals
Of the Spanish YGN’s organisational role
in the two-day events and its participation in the meeting’s
debates, Jóvenes Nucleares chair, Isabel Gomez says: “We
have proved our capacity to successfully organise an international
event, and we hope that we have shown our commitment to being
active members of the European Young Generation.
“For these reasons, among others, we invite
all young professionals working in any field concerning nuclear
science and technology in Spain – nuclear power plants,
laboratories, universities, regulatory bodies, engineering or
electrical companies – to join the Spanish YGN. By doing
so, they will be part of an organisation which believes that nuclear
science and technology contribute to the development and welfare
of our society,” says Isabel.
International Youth Nuclear Congress (IYNC)
IYNC – the next of which is in Toronto
on 9-13 May 2004 – is a project of the utmost importance
to the ENS YGN, which participates in its organisation as well
as taking an active role in its development. Bringing together
young nuclear professionals from all over the world, this biennial
congress has as its aim the creation of a meeting point for
sharing knowledge, experience and new ideas. (Please see our
announcement of Toronto IYNC2004 in the issue of ENS News.)
ENS YGN is in favour of the next IYNC in 2006
being held in Europe. One of the objectives of the second part
of this ENS YGN meeting in Barcelona was to choose a European
candidate to bid for hosting the 2006 congress. Two possible
candidates were presented, and one of them was chosen after
The official bid to host IYNC2006 was announced
to IYNC Network representatives a bit later. (It was still a
secret at the time that this issue of ENS News went
to press.) Bids will compete on the strength of the different
proposals and the final decision will be taken at IYNC2004 in