In the first of what will be a series of Young Generation
Reporter features covering ENS conferences, Nicolas Franck
of CERCA, AREVA, gives the following personal account of the
recent RRFM 2008 conference, in Hamburg.
If you would like to add your views on RRFM 2008 to those
of Nicolas, please forward them to Kirsten Epskamp, ENS Manager
or Mark O’Donovan, Editor-in-Chief of ENS NEWS.
The Research Reactor Fuel Management (RRFM)
2008 conference took place from the 2-5 March in the beautiful
city of Hamburg, in northern Germany. PhDs, engineers, scientists,
researchers and a multitude of other people working in the
field of research reactors and related fuel management met
to present their works and to share their research data and
ideas on all things connected with the fuel management of research
traditional welcome address by Santiago San Antonio,
the ENS Secretary General, the conference kicked off
with a presentation celebrating the 50th anniversary
of research at GKSS, the company that hosted RRFM 2008.
Over the next three days, no fewer than 54 presentations
were made around 5 central themes: international topics
and an overview of new projects and fuel developments,
fuel development and
manufacture, reactor operation, safety and core conversion, fuel back-end management
and innovative methods in research reactor analysis. Throughout
the entire conference a poster gallery featured a display of
projects covering these 5 themes.
subjects were particularly discussed: the development
of the high-density U Mo fuel and reactor conversion
from HEU to the LEU. From a personal point of view, I
was more interested in the presentation on the PALLAS
reactor project given by Mr. Van Der Schaaf and on the
reactor conversion programme presented by Mr. Staples.
The coffee breaks and the lunches were provided a suitable
opportunity to discuss the presentations in more detail,
network and to meet new people. Personally,
I have had the opportunities from many different countries,
Korea, the United States, Argentina, Belgium, Germany, The
Netherlands, Russia and France.
The RRFM 2008 was completed
by two “thematic parties.” The first one
was organized by AREVA and took place in the prestigious
place Museum of Ethnology, and the second began with
a boat trip visit of Hamburg’s famous port followed
by a dinner at an historic former warehouse in the port
district. These two evenings were very convivial and
pleasant, allowing people to meet in another context
and to make new friends.
My function as young reporter during these
evenings made it easier for me to meet new people and forge
new friendships, which I was able to do with several people.
The three-day conference programme ended
with a technical visit to either the GKSS research reactor
or the HASYLAB Research Centre. The organization of RRFM in
Hamburg was perfect: the choice of location for the conference,
administration, the agenda and contents of the various sessions,
the food and drink, the planning for the social programme (including
bus transportation to and from the various locations) and the
organization of the technical visits made the conference one
to remember. RRFM 2008 was an undoubted a success, especially
in view of the number of participants and the quality of their
presentations. I would like to give a big thank you to the
ENS staff for their hard work, for the quality of the organisation
and for their availability and friendliness.
The whole experience was very interesting for me. It was
also very enriching both professionally and personally
reasons: first of all, it gave me a better understanding
of the international organisation of the research reactors;
also gave me a better knowledge of the mission and objectives
of the RRFM conference; it enabled me to build up a network
of contacts and finally, it gave me an opportunity to discover
what it takes to successfully organise an international conference
like RRFM 2008. As a result of participating I am looking
forward to participating in other congresses and conferences
Service Combustibles Atomiques, CERCA,