The European Nuclear Young Generation Forum (ENYGF) is organized every two years to bring together students and young professionals from across the European nuclear industry. The 2019 edition took place in Ghent, Belgium and was organised by the Belgian Nuclear Society (BNS-YG) and the Netherlands Nuclear Society (Dutch Young Generation, DYG).
On Sunday evening the participants were welcomed at the University of Ghent’s conference venue, a former monastery, for a small reception with Belgian beer and Dutch specialities. During this welcome event the participants got an impression on what the conference would bring: a week full of networking, knowledge sharing and social events… and heat! As the week promised to be one of the rare sunny weeks in the region.
The theme of the conference ‘Nuclear for health – from half-lives to better lives’ was well present in the various presentations, discussions and posters. Invited speakers coming from industry, research and academia from all over Europe joined to give an insight on the ‘classical’ and ‘less classical’ applications of nuclear. These ‘less classical’ aspects are crucial for raising the life standards in Europe but even more in developing countries. These upgrades mean better access to energy, alimentation – purification of water and food conservation –, improved land and agricultural practices, disease control and the further development of diagnostics and therapy in the medical sector. In particular the supply and use of isotopes for cancer treatments was highlighted. After an entire week, it was clear to the audience, nuclear applications might play a decisive role! It was interesting to see the different views from our speakers and the discussions that followed.
For the duration of the conference, the participants were challenged about everything they learned with small quiz question. The winner Laurie Atmar from EdF won a mini-version of the MYRRHA reactor.
The ENYGF2019 Conference also offered technical visits to the more classical and less classical facilities involved in the nuclear sector in the vicinity of Ghent:
- The Joint Research Centre in Geel with unique accelerator facilities and the SCK-CEN, the largest nuclear research facility in Belgium, one of their development projects is a lead-bismuth reactor
- COVRA, the nuclear waste facility in the Netherlands that also stores priceless art and Borssele NPP.
- TRASIS in Liège who develops new radiolabelled therapeutic and diagnostic substances. This visit was combined with a visit to the Westinghouse who designed a large part of the operating NPPs in the world.
- The nuclear medicine department of Ghent University and ABC Engines, who delivered the emergency diesel generators for EdF.
- One of the largest power plants in the world: Gravelines NPP, just over the Belgian border in France
Although the 2019 edition of the ENYGF2019 conference was smaller in size than former events, it went back to its roots: A smaller, intense conference that brought Europeans closer together. And due to the enthusiasm and positive effort of all the participants ENYGF 2019 turned out as a success.
The next edition will take place in Tarragona, Spain, follow us on social media and don’t miss out.