7th General Assembly in Brussels & Celebrations of the tenth Anniversary of the Sustainable Nuclear Energy Technology Platform
On 22 February 2018, the 7th SNETP General Assembly and the celebration of the platform tenth’s anniversary took place in Brussels. The event was coorganised by the SNETP Secretariat with the support of the European Commission – Joint Research Center and DG Research and Innovation – and chaired by the Governing Board Chair, Hamid Aït Abderrahim.
The event kicked off with the restricted session. The last outcomes achieved by the pillars were reviewed and the financial sustainability of the platform caused satisfaction among the GA representatives. The evolution of SNETP towards a legal entity was then the key subject to be addressed. The Chair was satisfied with the important progress that was made over the last months and reminded that the remaining open important questions will be settled prior to the next NUGENIA General Assembly on 10 April 2018.
The Open Session began at 11:00. Three keynote speakers from outside SNETP were invited for the occasion.
The first of them, Charlina Vitcheva, Deputy Director General of the Joint Research Center acknowledged that the platform gathers today the most important European R&D stakeholders in the field of nuclear fission and foresaw a bright future ahead. She reminded in particular that the European Commission will need SNETP to implement its policies such as the Nuclear Safety Directive and to achieve its long-term targets in terms of reduction of GHG emissions.
Guillaume Gillet, European Union Affairs Director at EIT InnoEnergy, then shared his view on the need to reduce our GHG emissions, which is the biggest challenge ahead for Europe. To address it, nuclear energy remains an indispensable asset that Europe should absolutely use. He added that considering the current trend towards electrification and the fact that low carbon footprint will very likely be a competitive advantage for any power station in the future, nuclear energy will be a key player in tomorrow’s energy mix. Yet, he reminded the challenges ahead, notably in terms of communication to the public and social innovation to make nuclear more prosumer and consumer-oriented.
Finally, Pedros Papadopoulos, Vice President of the Young Generation Network which is part of the European Nuclear Society (ENS), presented the scope, the objectives and the activities of its organisation. He then reflected on two key and complementary challenges to be tackled by nuclear energy which are the attraction of young researchers (1) and the knowledge transfer between generations (2). He explained that the ENS frequently organises student info days and education lectures to build awareness of nuclear among the young generation. He also highlighted the organisation of networking days, conferences and grant competitions to increase the cross-generation exchanges.
After the presentation of the three SNETP pillars by their respective chairs, H. Aït Abderrahim emphasised some of the main achievements of the platform since its creation a decade ago. SNETP and its pillars established important partnerships with other key organisations such as IAEA, OECD or EERA-JPNM but it became recognised by the EC as a particularly well-functioning European Technology Platform, fuelled by the activity of its pillars. He also underlined the publication, dissemination and regular update of strategic documents aimed at driving the platform’s long-term actions.
When the meeting came to an end, it was an appropriate occasion to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the platform. A number of founding personalities were invited and accepted to join the toast.
The next important technical event of the Platform – the second edition of the Nuclear Days – will be held in Prague on 10-12 April 2018.
More information and registration to the event is available here: http://www.snetp.eu/nuclear-days-2018-nugenia-forum/