First ETSON Conference in Munich meets with positive response
Around 60 ETSON members met in Munich from 11 to 13 October 2022 for the first ETSON Conference. Representatives of the 14 European Technical Safety Organisations (TSOs) and Japan were present. Despite the current war, Ukraine was able to show its presence online and was represented with a virtual keynote speech to kick off the event. In addition to the member organisations of the ETSON network, experts from the European Commission (EC) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) also attended the conference. The event replaced the IAEA TSO Conference that was originally scheduled to take place in St. Petersburg.
The first day started with a keynote speech by the head of the Ukrainian TSO Ihor Shevchenko (SSTC). Afterwards, in a round table discussion moderated by C. Pinel (IRSN), A. Bradford (D IAEA), M. Garriba (DDG EC) and the current ETSON President Uwe Stoll discussed nuclear safety in the current challenging times.
The day ended with one of the highlights of the ETSON Conference: the Science Slam from five young expert teams with subsequent presentation of the ETSON Award. This year, the award went to Mouheb Chebi (IRSN), the second prize to Silvia lo Muzio (GRS).
On the second day, experts from the ETSON Expert Groups presented current projects and working topics and discussed them in small groups. The participants could choose between several side events - among them a visit to the FRM2 research reactor, the ETSON/IAEA-TSO cooperation on the self-assessment tool TOSCA, and the workshop on SMRs.
On the third and final day of the ETSON conference, the focus was on the reports of the individual member countries. For example, the Finnish representative from VTT informed about the repository project and the commissioning of the 3rd unit of the Olkiluoto nuclear power plant. IRSN reported i.a. on the search for a site for six EPR2 units in France.
On the fringes of the ETSON conference, bilateral meetings took place on further cooperation, among others on potential projects with the Joint Research Centre (JRC) and on cooperation with the IAEA TSO Forum and the TSO Conference planned for 2024.
Overall, both the presentation of the topics and the new concept of the event were well received by the participants. It was therefore decided that in future the ETSON Conference should take place every four years, alternating with the EUROSAFE and the IAEA TSO Conference. The presentations will be made available to all ETSON members.