Issue No. 19 Winter
(January 2008)


ENS News

ENS welcomes new President

Word from the President

The Devil is in the Details

ENS Events

Pime 2008

RRFM 2008

NESTet 2008


Member Societies & Corporate Members

Dryout of BWR Fuel Elements

Two Phase Flow
Test Loop Results for BWR

The Future of Nuclear Energy

Westinghouse is Awarded Watts Bar Units 2 Completion Contract

Bulgarian Nuclear Society Annual Conference ‘Nuclear Power for the People’

Bali COP13 and beyond

YGN Report

How to be seen better?

Bratislava’s nuclear November

European Institutions

Summary of the main EU Energy Developments, 2007

ENS World News

Energy for the Future

UK Takes Final Decision to Build New Nuclear Plants

NucNet News

ENS Members

Links to ENS Member Societies

Links to ENS Corporate Members

Editorial staff
Pime 2008
Pime 2008
10 - 14 February 2008 in Prague

RRFM 2008
2 - 5 March 2008 in Hamburg, Germany


NESTet 2008
4 - 9 May 2008 in Budapest, Hungary


1 - 3 October 2008 in Dubrovnic, Croatia



























































ENS NEWS N° 19 – Editorial: Selling science, securing the future

Now that the traditional end-of-year festivities are over it is time to look forward - batteries recharged - to what promises to be a very important year for the nuclear community. As political events have unfolded across Europe the crucial contribution that nuclear energy makes to reducing climate change and ensuring affordable and secure energy supplies has been thrust more and more into the spotlight. Increased acceptance of the key role that nuclear energy has to play in Europe’s energy mix has fuelled a sense of heightened optimism, confidence and renewed ambition in the nuclear industry. After years of stagnation the nuclear industry, buoyed by the changing political landscape, is now much more bullish. For the nuclear science community this brings with it increased responsibility to deliver the goods, a greater pressure to perform, even though it’s debatable whether the resources allocated to research have mirrored the increased expectations. Nobody disputes the fact that without adequately funded state-of-the-art science and research the nuclear revival will not be sustained and rampant energy demand will not be met.

The revival has put certain problems that have long preoccupied the nuclear industry into sharper focus, making their resolution all the more urgent. One of these is the question of meeting increased demand for nuclear research with adequate supplies of young talented scientists to carry it out. It’s a simple supply and demand equation. As a result of nuclear energy’s years in the comparative wilderness in some countries the enduring perception among many young people today is that studying sciences or choosing a career in research do not represent a smart option. Such a perception is hard to change. Could a lack of young blood to carry things forward prove to be a serious barrier to progress at such an auspicious time for the nuclear industry?
Could it even encourage the revival to stall? Interestingly, some of nuclear energy’s most ardent opponents have now switched from denying vociferously that the nuclear revival actually exists to predicting that there are not enough young talented scientists to sustain it – an implicit admission that it does exist after all. On this occasion, however, the anti-nuclear brigade may not be entirely wrong. One thing is for sure, without the constant replenishment of the talent pool no industry can survive long term. But to simply let market forces satisfy the equation would be a mistake. Instead the industry must have the right framework for providing training, development and retraining for new recriuts.

But, as usual, nothing is ever quite as black and white as it seems. ENS NEWS readers certainly don’t need me to tell them that there are a lot of talented researchers out there, ready to take up the baton and push back the boundaries of the possible. The whole point is that we might know it, but does the wider public? Ignorance of the facts nurtures common misconceptions about science and research. It’s up to us, therefore, to communicate the facts more effectively and show how a career in nuclear science and research can offer even the most ambitious of potential young scientists an opportunity to have a fulfilling and meaningful career.

Recent political developments at EU level have reinforced the belief that more must be done now to promote nuclear research. It is an essential ingredient in the Community meeting its future energy and environmental goals, while at the same time safeguarding its leadership in the field of science and technology. The European Commission’s recently launched Sustainable Nuclear Energy Technology (SNETP), in addition to focusing on a wide range of nuclear research programmes, stresses that in order for Europe to maintain its global technological leadership “education and training in nuclear science and engineering must be strengthened.”

From an industry perspective utilities have invested a lot of time and effort into identifying and attracting talented and committed young scientists to drive the nuclear revival forward. National institutes and private research centres play a vital role too, offering research opportunities for many young scientists from Europe and beyond. There are a wide range of training courses, work placements and continuous education programmes on offer for trainees and employees. In some cases professional recruitment agencies work in partnership with universities and centres of excellence to identify and recruit the best young graduates for jobs in both the public and private sectors. The Young Generation Nuclear network is also very active. It is close to the pulse of young people, contacting students, presenting opportunities, sharing its experiences and generally promoting a career in nuclear research.

Fortunately, the signs are there that the trend is slowly being reversed, as governments realise that support for studying the sciences - from primary school to university level - needs to move up a gear. In some countries, the number of students opting to study science subjects at A-level, graduate and post graduate level is slowly increasing after years of decline. Governments are now giving special support and offering incentives to those considering a career in the sciences. Better late than never, I guess. And yet, in spite of these efforts, a career in marketing, finance, communications or IT is still largely perceived by those surveying the job market as being much more “cool” and lucrative than a career in research. Of course, emerging technologies and evolving market trends have helped set the agenda and greater financial rewards have followed. So, there is a limit to what we can do in the short term to influence wider social and business trends. However, the science community must also accept its share of the blame because it has failed to communicate adequately the real value and rewards that a career in science can bring. Perhaps we have failed to explain forcefully enough to the public the connection between science and everyday life; to do our bit to counter the stereotypical view of a scientist as a bit of an anorak, living in a parallel universe far removed from the realities of life. However inaccurate and unfair some of the stereotypical views might be, we are partly to blame for encouraging their existence. Perhaps we should do more to improve our image. Good communications are vitally important.

The upcoming ENS international conference PIME 2008 (taking place in Prague, from 10-12 February) will, significantly, focus on the needs of nuclear communicators. It will feature a workshop devoted to the key subject of education and training. The emphasis will be, precisely, on communicating the benefits of a career in nuclear science and on how to better attract and retain the best young scientists through specialist education and training. It will feature a speaker from the UK’s National Skills Academy for Nuclear (NSAN). At a time when the UK has just launched an ambitious new build programme, the work of organisations like NSAN is all the more significant. Of course, similar training “academies” and programmes exist in other countries too. But perhaps we ought do more to “sell” science ourselves, rather than rely too heavily upon others. Communicating effectively is a science too – one that we should, perhaps, learn to master more. Even if you are not personally involved in the communications business you have much to gain from improved communications about what scientists really strive for, and what their achievements and aspirations are.

ENS NEWS has reported on this important issue before and will continue to do so. This time I would like to enlist your help. I invite you to share your experiences and views on the subject with ENS NEWS readers so that a real insight into what you are doing to train and retain the scientists of today and tomorrow can be shared with others. We all have a view on the subject. So, let me know what you think and illustrate what your organisation is doing. The ENS web site is also a vehicle for communicating to a wider audience our views about what the nuclear science community is doing today and planning for tomorrow. It can be a shop window for those who are considering a life dedicated to science. We owe it to those who will come after us to present the facts in a clear and persuasive way.

The first ENS NEWS of 2008 kicks off with an editorial on a subject of fundamental importance to all readers – the recruiting and training the next generation of qualified, talented and committed nuclear scientists. This is followed by a word of welcome to our recently-elected President, David Bonser. The new man at the helm of ENS, in his first ever Word from the President feature, outlines his vision of the Society’s future, its priorities and the main challenges that it faces.

The events section gives important information about what is an extremely full agenda of ENS conferences. It covers PIME, RRFM, NESTet and TOPSAFE. As we “go to press” some of these conferences are getting very close (especially PIME 2008, which takes place in Prague, from 10-13 February) and those of you who intend going but haven’t yet registered will need to get your skates on!

Among the subjects covered in the Member Societies and Corporate Members section are the latest experiments carried out in Sweden into the dry-out profile of BWR fuel elements, a personal appraisal of the future of nuclear energy by our Vice President, Frank Deconinck, a novel slant on the outcomes of the recent Bali COP talks and a summary of events at the Bulgarian Nuclear Society’s annual conference.
The traditional Young Generation (YGN) section feature stories about how to improve nuclear’s image by cross-branding with successful brands and “Bulgaria’s nuclear November.”

ENS NEWS N° 19 features an especially detailed review of all the significant political developments that dominated so many front pages during 2007, and which could have a profound effect upon how future research efforts are funded and focused. Without doubt one of the most significant of these developments was the much-anticipated conformation of the UK government’s decision to launch a new build programme – a groundbreaking announcement that will give more impetus to the nuclear revival in Europe.

As usual, we include a number of news reports from NucNet, including one on the situation in the UK and on the World Economic Forum, in Davos.

Make sure you read all the latest news about the ENS events programme and make sure that your organisation participates in the debates.

In more ways than one, 2008 seems likely to be a momentous year. Follow the issues that will define it with ENS NEWS.

Enjoy N° 19!

Mark O’Donovan


ENS welcomes the new President

Following the recent meeting of the ENS Board and the General Assembly ENS has a new President and some new Board members. David Bonser has taken over as President from Frank Deconinck, who remains on the board as Vice President.


Word from the President

May I begin by saying how proud I am to have been elected the new President of the European Nuclear Society. It is a great honour to represent and defend the interests of ENS and its members, many of whom are friends and colleagues I have had the pleasure of working with for many years. I pledge to do my utmost to serve the membership to the best of my ability, to promote its values and to help it achieve its goals.


Pime 2008 - Register now!

10 - 13 February 2008, Prague, Czech Republic

PIME 2008 will offer plenary sessions and parallel workshops on a range of hot topics of concern to us all. The emphasis will be on an interactive and dynamic approach to presenting, moderating and debating the themes, as well as on providing concrete tools and practical tips which participants can actually put to good use when they get back home.


RRFM 2008

RRFM 2008 provides an ideal opportunity for researchers, scientists and industry experts from all around the world to discuss the latest operations and projects in the research reactor field and innovative methods in the research reactor analysis! Three days of lively debates, interesting presentations and scientific as well as industrial exhibits surrounded by a high-value social programme mark this year's RRFM agenda and make it a key event to the research reactor community.


NESTet2008 - Call for Papers


The NESTet 2008 Programme Committee and the European Nuclear Society (ENS) are calling for presentations for an important conference, dedicated to networking in nuclear education and training across the fields of engineering science and technology.


TopSafe 2008 – Call for Papers!

The ENS Conference on Safety of Nuclear Installations will take place in Dubrovnik, Croatia from 1 – 3 October 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)


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