30 Nov 2023

ETSON Conference 2023

ETSON Conference 2023 title picture
© Bel V

An ETSON Conference was held on 11 and 12 October 2023 in Brussels, Belgium. Bel V hosted this 2023 edition.
There were about 5O participants from different European TSOs, as well as representation on behalf of the Japanese TSO NRA.

The conference was kicked off by an impulse speech by Martina ADORNI (OECD/NEA) on the topic "Nuclear renaissance (with special focus on SMR): issues & challenges", followed by a Round Table discussion and a Q&A session.

Two sessions took place during the first day of the conference:
"Competence & Expertise management and capacity building" and "ETSON Common Safety Research project".
The day ended with the ETSON Award Science Slam, followed by the award distribution ceremony. This year's first prize was won by Jonathan ZERT (GRS) for the topic "Joint Modelling of VVER-1000/320 Containment Specifics for Simulating Pressure Build-Up: A COCOSYS Study". The second prize was awarded to David BOUHJITI (IRSN) for the topic "Digital twining to assess the performance of aging nuclear concrete containment buildings".

The day ended with a social event in the form of a visit to the Atomium in Brussels and a dinner.

Two sessions also took place during the second day: "Interaction & dialogue with stakeholders" and "Interaction & collaboration with international organisations and groups“.

Participants and organisers were unanimously pleased with the many interesting exchanges. Below some of the main outcomes of the 2023 conference:
1.    The challenge regarding attracting (and especially keeping) new talents, and associated factors (education & training, funding, fast evolution of technologies like AI);
2.    The importance of data science and AI including the connexion with the (non-nuclear) data sciences community;
3.    ETSON‘s roles and initiatives with regard to assessments & licensing process of SMRs, LW/CWR in a first stage, but also AMR, which actually combine the two previous outcomes/challenges. This includes the need and importance of interactions, communication and partnerships of ETSON with various communities (R&D, academic, civil society, regulator networks …);
4.    The future steps / ETSON events announcements : TSO Conference 2024, ETSON Conference 2025 and EUROSAFE 2026.


Marika Roobaert
Bel V