During IYNCWIN18 in Bariloche, Argentina participants were able to witness the final competition of the first edition of I4N, Innovation for Nuclear. This is the first IYNC-sponsored international contest on innovation in nuclear technology. The purpose of the innovation contest was to put forward new and innovative nuclear technologies, applications, or systems that will contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The contest also gave a platform to give visibility and discuss the ideas of young innovators. In the frame of IYNC support to local young generation networks in nuclear (YGN), our first edition of I4N aimed at supporting already existing contest and give to them further global visibility. Moreover we desired also to support the development of new innovation contests in collaboration with our YGNs. During this first edition 4 contests were sponsored and supported by I4N: the American Nuclear Society (ANS) Student Conference 2017 Innovation Competition; FR17 Youth Innovator Challenge; Spark! Contest 2017; and Innovatome 2017. IYNC supported the winners of these partner contest by providing travel grants to attend IYNWIN18 and unique I4N merchandise available only to the finalist teams.
On the last day of the IYNCWIN18 congress, we saw three of the teams competing against each other, and being evaluated by an international committee of experts in the nuclear field. The committee had a difficult job due to the high level of proposals. They evaluated the innovative ideas based on their contribution to innovation; their applicability; presentation skills, and focus on sustainability. The committee was impressed by the professionalism, high level of discussion and energy of participants. The fantastic finalist teams included:
– Spark’s winner Benjamin Govier Moore, with his review of Small Modular Reactor (SMR) technology and a study case of its applicability in the U.K.. “The topic for the 2016-17 Spark! contest – ‘Why SMR?’ – Really grabbed my attention … I took the ideas of modularity, standardization and interoperability that were fundamental to SMR success factors, and stressed these ideas beyond the nuclear world.”
– FR17 Youth Innovator Challenge winner Kristof Gladinez, soon to attain his Doctorate., with his engaging technological application for GenIV reactors focused on “Innovative cold trap filtration technologies for reliable and economical exploitation of lead-bismuth eutectic cooled systems”.
|Figure 2-Left Spark’s winner Benjamin Govier Moore presenting is project. Right FR17 Youth Innovator Challenge winner Kristof Gladinez during his proposal presentation.|
– And finally the Innovatome team “Innov’in” won the contest with their prototype “SyMoN” (Système Modulable de Nettoyage meaning Modular Cleaning System) an autonomous robot that executes a contamination scan and vacuums dust while moving around a room in an industrial nuclear site. For operators, using a fleet of SyMoN enables a limitation of personal working in nuclear zone following the ALARA initiative and the optimization of the logistics of the cleaning activities.
Figure 3- The winning team Innov’in during award presentation with IYNC officers. From left to right: the manager of the session Fidelma Di Lemma, Johan Senegas, Romane Rieu, Nelly Pons, Marwen Slama from the Innov’in team and IYNC president Denis Janin.