On 11 June 2017, the IYNC Board of Directors met in Manchester, United Kingdom, prior to the start of the European Nuclear Young Generation Forum (ENYGF) 2017. Delegates from 21 countries were represented, as well as, several observer and continental organizations.
Each delegate updated the group on the activities of their respective young generation in nuclear (YGN) organizations. See a list of YGNs around the world here: http://www.iync.org/ygns-around-the-world/
From the reports, it is clear that young professionals in nuclear continue to be active and engaged even though nuclear energy programmes in many nations, especially in Europe and the U.S., are declining or being phased out. YGNs continue reach out to the public to educate people on nuclear science and technology and show the value of nuclear for generating energy.
Belgium, Switzerland, and Germany are countries that have decided to phase out nuclear energy but are having a hard time keeping up with their national goals to reduce carbon emissions from electricity generation, as a result. An objective of IYNC and the #Nuclear4Climate initiative is to promote nuclear energy as part of the solution for mitigating climate change and keep nuclear in the conversation for future low-carbon energy planning.
Besides outreach to the public, YGNs also offer professional development for their members and knowledge retention with more experienced professionals. This includes technical tours, such as to the nuclear training center in Hungary, where you can actually go inside of a (non-operating) steam generator and reactor vessel. Perhaps the most unique professional development activities are the “networking-sauna” events in Finland.
In some regions of the world, the nuclear industry and YGN activities are growing. The first African Youth Nuclear Summit was held this year in Kenya. Australia, a country very active in uranium mining and medical radioisotope production, formed a YGN this year. The United Arab Emirates is currently starting a new nuclear energy programme, with four reactors under construction. Over 50% of their nuclear workforce is under the age of 35, and therefore are forming a youth council.
We were also happy to see the re-activation of the YNGs in Italy and the UN in Vienna. IYNC will continue to support these and other organizations in their activities.