Issue No.5 Summer
(July 2004)


ENS News

Future of the European Nuclear Industry

ENS General Assembly

Listening to others


ENS Events

RRFM 2005

PIME 2005


Member Societies & Corporate Members

Nuclear R&D in Europe


ENS World News

IAEA publication

Nuclear waste

NucNet news

Links to ENS Member Societies

Links to ENS Corporate Members

Editorial staff






"Nuclear R&D in Europe: status and future"

This was the subject of a roundtable organised by the Belgian Nuclear Society on Thursday 17 June 2004.

The discussion panel was composed of:

- Prof. Michel Giot, Professor at UCL and SCK/CEN Vice President,
- Mr. Dominique Hittner, AREVA FANP Project Manager,
- Mr. Jacques Pirson, Tractebel R&D,
- Mr. Roland Schenkel, JRC Deputy Director;

The moderator:

- Mr. Claude Truffin, ULB R&D Director and SCK/CEN Managing Director.

Industry representatives (Messrs Hittner, Pirson) provided the industry perspective on the question by describing the actions of their respective companies in the field of R&D.

Prof. Giot focused its contribution on an analysis of the threats and opportunities faced in particular by the nuclear sector. R. Schenkel then raised the topical issue of whether the nuclear sector was experiencing the end of a period of transition. He was keen to emphasise that, from his point of view, a more positive attitude was now surfacing in Europe, as suggested by recent newspaper articles. He considered that three conditions had to be fulfilled to confirm this trend. The continued industrial leadership is essential, he noted, as is closing the nuclear cycle, which enters the domain of governmental responsibility. Last but not least, he added that scientific leadership needs to be achieved. Here, the universities have a large and highly influential role to play. He went on to underline EC promotion of coordination and integration of R&D efforts, and the inducement of joint strategies between industrial players and the EC. He also recommended investing more in new energy fields to attract young scientists.

The panel’s discussion revealed two consensus points. First, the vital point of building confidence in the nuclear community and the public was highlighted; it was suggested that R&D might have a role to play in answering this question. Second, shaping nuclear R&D in the future should - in order to maximise productivity - be done in the context of an ERA (European Research Area).

The moderator, Mr. Truffin, concluded with a statement underlining the need for the nuclear community to demonstrate more assertiveness, as the future for nuclear R&D is bright indeed.


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