NEA WebChat on Gender Balance: How do we encourage more women to enter the nuclear science and technology field?
Attracting and retaining more women into careers in the physical sciences and technology, as well as enhancing the conditions and prospects for women and girls at every stage of their education and development is an important goal that many NEA member countries are pursuing. In support of these efforts, the NEA is working with its members to explore new and creative approaches to improve gender balance in the nuclear science and technology arena. As part of this priority, the NEA brought together a Leadership Panel with a Young Generation Panel on 28 May 2020. Speakers from both panels shared their personal experiences in nuclear science and technology. Then, they explored how governments, research bodies and the private sector can help improve the representation of women in all spheres of the nuclear sector. A video recording of this discussion will be available in the coming days.
NEA WebChat with Dr Rita Baranwal
The NEA is organising a series of WebChats to engage with leading figures in the energy sector and explore current issues through in‑depth conversations with NEA Director‑General Magwood. The first NEA WebChat was held on 14 May 2020 with Dr Rita Baranwal, Assistant Secretary for the Office of Nuclear Energy in the United States Department of Energy (DOE). As a recognised leader in nuclear innovation, Dr Baranwal drew on her personal experiences to discuss effective leadership, innovation and gender balance in the nuclear energy sector. She also shared her perspectives on the future of nuclear power and career opportunities for the next generation. A video recording of the event is available here.
NEA Director-General meets with H.E. Hamad Al Kaabi
NEA Director‑General William D. Magwood, IV, met virtually with H.E. Hamad Al Kaabi, Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and UAE Special Representative for International Nuclear Cooperation, on 29 May 2020. The discussions covered a wide range of issues, including the current state of nuclear technology and the decarbonisation of electricity systems. The dialogue also touched on the impact of COVID‑19 on nuclear construction projects and regulatory decisions and practices. It was noted that the UAE's Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) continues to operate efficiently, while its staff works remotely with the exception of on‑site inspections.
Safety reviews of VVER reactors
The Multinational Design Evaluation Project (MDEP) VVER Working Group (VVERWG) met via video conference on 25‑27 May 2020 to exchange information on the latest national developments in VVER design review and construction and the impacts of the COVID‑19 pandemic in this context. This was the first VVERWG meeting attended by the Turkish Nuclear Regulatory Authority (Nükleer Düzenleme Kurumu - NDK), which joined the MDEP in February 2020. Participants discussed the potential enhancement of interactions between the working group and the industry. They also reviewed preparations for the upcoming workshop on the "Construction of New VVERs in VVERWG Member Countries" to take place in November 2020.
Public communication of nuclear regulatory organisations
The NEA Working Group on Public Communication of Nuclear Regulatory Organisations (WGPC) held its plenary meeting on 27 May 2020 via video conference. Discussions focused primarily on two potential activities: the creation of a practical guide on the characteristics of a trusted regulator and the organisation of a training course on nuclear risk communication. Another highlight of the meeting was the recently published WGPC report A Public Communication Case Study: Switzerland. Participants also nominated and confirmed the group's new Bureau members. The group plans to hold another virtual meeting during the last quarter of 2020 and meet physically in 2021 on the margins of a country‑specific public communications case study workshop in Helsinki, Finland.
The Sixth International Conference on Geological Repositories (ICGR 2020) will take place on 8‑11 November 2020 in Helsinki, Finland. Building upon the previous conferences held in Denver (1999), Stockholm (2003), Berne (2007), Toronto (2012) and Paris (2016), ICGR 2020 will focus on "Advancing Geological Repositories from Concept to Operation" and demonstrate the significant progress of geological repositories in the last two decades. The event will bring together high level decision makers from responsible government ministries, regulatory bodies, waste management organisations, research institutes, and local stakeholders, as well as young professionals and students, to review current perspectives of geological repository development. It will show the progress made in the last two decades towards geologic disposal of radioactive waste by facilitating an exchange of information and experience. Participants will discuss various best practices in demonstrating technical reliability and share approaches in building human capacity, as well as in developing stakeholder confidence in the safety construction and operation of long term geological repositories. For more information and to register, please visit www.icgr2020.org.
Generation IV International Forum (GIF) updates
Like many other international bodies, the Generation IV International Forum (GIF) has been closely monitoring the ongoing COVID‑19 pandemic and adapting its work practices accordingly. While several GIF events have been cancelled or postponed, many meetings have been conducted via video conference, including the semi‑annual meetings of the GIF Experts Group, Policy Group and Senior Industrial Advisory Panel. The GIF Workshops on Advanced Manufacturing and Research and Development Infrastructure were also livestreamed to the global GIF community. GIF anticipates that its next semi-annual meeting, which will mark the Forum's 20th anniversary, will take place in Amboise, France on 19‑23 October 2020.
The NEA Nuclear Law Bulletin welcomes submissions of articles and studies from professionals and academics. Topics generally fall into the following categories: radiation protection and nuclear safety, nuclear installations, radioactive materials, radioactive waste management, environmental protection, non‑proliferation, nuclear third party liability, and nuclear trade. This list is non‑exhaustive and articles have been published outside of these areas, but still related to nuclear law. For an article to be considered in the next edition, final submissions must be received by 1 September. More information on the publication process, time frames, language and house style is available at oe.cd/nea-nlb-sub.
The 4th edition of the annual NEA Thermochemical Database (TDB) Project course on thermodynamic data collection and assessment will take place on 12‑13 November 2020 in Paris, France. This two‑day course is designed to familiarise scientists with current NEA TDB activities and standards, provide an overview of data collection and analysis techniques, and work through some real system examples to demonstrate the critical evaluation and data assessment process. Find out more and apply at oe.cd/nea-tdb-2020.
An online archive of previous editions is available here.
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