ETSON was founded in 2006 by GRS, IRSN and Bel V (then AVN). In the meantime, ETSON has expanded to currently 16 members of Technical Safety and Support Organisations (TSOs), mainly from the European Union, supporting their national Regulatory body The ETSON association itself is supporting the EC and IAEA and cooperates with other international organisations and associations. Since our environment has changed during the last years, it was time to reflect our achievements and to update our strategy.
The documents produced by ETSON’s technical groups, known as technical safety assessment guides (T-SAGs), are earning ever-greater recognition and wider use. The expertise and the contacts consolidated within ETSON contain a very high potential to achieve the best technical results in the interest of safety and to support harmonisation and the growing-together of the Member States of the European Union.
In this perspective, the vision of ETSON is to contribute to enhancing and standardizing safety practices and science based safety assessments. Indeed it is not sufficient to verify compliance with regulation to ensure safety. A safety approach based on technical expertise is necessary. And this expertise must be based on knowledge management and relevant safety research. In order to implement this vision, ETSON wants to:
- Be the major cooperative workplace for technical safety issues in Europe;
- Be a source of technical reflections on safety issues;
- Produce R&D results and positions that foster the enhancement and harmonization of safety practices in Europe.
ETSON also strengthened its link with the IAEA, which recognizes the role of TSOs (TSOs Forum, TECDOC on TSOs). An agreement between the IAEA and ETSON has been signed during the General Conference 2017, which allows ETSON to participate as an associated organisation to the IAEA activities and deliverables. This will take several forms, including through the work of the TSO Forum and IAEA review missions and conferences. Since 2007, the IAEA organises regularly TSO conferences, e.g. 2014 in Beijing, to which ETSON already participated significantly. The next TSO Conference will be in Brussels end of October 2018. Again, ETSON is heavily involved in its preparation and its conduct. It also means that – after the successful restart of the EUROSAFE Forum 2016 in Munich - there will be no EUROSAFE Forum in 2018. So do not miss the next EUROSAFE Forum in Paris on 6 and 7 November 2017 with the 2nd science slam for the ETSON Award. The yearly ETSON Award is a visible initiative with the aim to promote the work of young experts.
Another very successful activity of ETSON is the Junior Staff Program (JSP). The young researchers participating in the JSP represent the future of nuclear safety activities in Europe. It is important to continue promoting this action to encourage the networking between these young researchers. The yearly summer workshop organised by and for the junior staff of the ETSON members is instrumental in this regard.
With this brief welcome I hope that I could catch your interest in our activities and we look forward to welcoming you as a follower or even supporter of our mission!
Benoît De Boeck