International stakeholders in the field of safe and efficient nuclear energy gathered in Vienna, Austria, at the occasion of the 2nd NUGENIA Stakeholders Conference on 27 September 2016. The conference took place as a side event of the IAEA 60th General Conference at the IAEA Head Office.
During this afternoon session, high level officials shared their views on how to overcome the challenges that Generation II and III reactor technology R&D programmes face and more specifically on how research and development can bring added value to the sector, contribute to maintain necessary competences, and support knowledge and technology transfer.
More than 50 participants attended the side event. Guest speakers included Mr D. Hahn Director of the division of Nuclear power; Michael Knochenhauer, Director of the Nuclear Power Plant Safety Department at the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority; Herkko Plit, Deputy Director General of the Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy; Panagiotis Manolatos, Project Officer at EC-RTD; and Abderrahim Al Mazouzi (EDF R&D) and Steve Napier (NNL) from the NUGENIA Executive Committee.
“Nuclear power is already a mature technology. However, it has to face increased operational costs and enhanced regulatory oversight. It is therefore mandatory to improve the reliability, safety and security of plants to allow for an economically, environmentally and socially sustainable nuclear energy supply and use”, stated NUGENIA Vice President Satu Helynen during her opening speech.
“The objectives of this event are to highlight the research and development added value for nuclear power safety and competitiveness, to discuss R&D needs at state level versus international collaboration and to increase public awareness and understanding.”
The following topics were discussed:
- NUGENIA’s role and added value in nuclear safety and competitiveness, and in contributing to EU strategic objectives
- The role of the IAEA in promoting initiatives such as NUGENIA to gather the R&D needs of all stakeholders including industry, research centres, academia, TSOs and SMEs
- R&D contributions towards maintaining the necessary competences to tackle future challenges
- Cooperation between NUGENIA and a national nuclear programme, and how mutual benefits are generated
- Improving win-win collaborations on R&D innovative projects
- Supporting the harmonisation of required knowhow to overcome the challenges facing the civil nuclear industry in economic, technical and cultural terms
Mrs Helynen also opened and chaired another side event, the Sixth Nuclear Operator Organisations Cooperation Forum: Economic Sustainability of Nuclear Power Generation in the Next Decade, which was held on the morning of 27 September under the presidency of the Director General of the IAEA Mr Amano. It aimed at discussing and addressing operational experience and lessons learnt with regards to the technical and economic aspects of competitiveness and effectiveness of the long-term operation of Nuclear power plants.
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