The second WNU Summer Institute (WNU SI) Alumni Assembly, held from 31 March – 4 April 2014, was a great success. It was hosted by Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the USA and brought together Alumni from across the nine Summer Institute classes, with almost 70 representatives from 15 countries as diverse as China, India, Sweden, France, Brazil, Nigeria, Germany and Canada. We are really pleased that so many nuclear companies are continuing to invest in the young leaders in their companies.
The main aim of the Alumni Assembly is to continue the SI’s legacy of engaging the next generation of nuclear leaders from across the globe, providing a valuable opportunity to further solidify the global Alumni network of peers, and to build upon the foundations laid down at the SI. The programme addressed three main aims: professional development, leadership and peer-to-peer engagement. We heard from a number of great invited leaders, including US Assistant Secretaries Pete Lyons and Tom Countryman, Cameco Vice President Ken Seitz, US NRC Commissioner and appointed OECD/NEA DG William Magwood, Exelon CEO Amir Shakarami and Agneta Rising, WNA DG and WNU President. Presentations from Alumni were also excellent, and we were given some great information, including updates on the nuclear programmes in China, Finland and the UK, and new developments on waste management, safety, security and safeguards, training, research and public involvement in decision making process.
Participating Alumni had the opportunity to choose a topic of interest for in-depth professional development training over two full days. These were taken in small Groups and we were able to learn from experts from Oak Ridge and across the world. These focussed on research reactors and isotope production, safeguards and inspector training, safety culture and training on security for the technical community.
The programme was complimented by a range of technical visits including tours of High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR), the ORNL supercomputer, the X-10 Graphite Reactor, Safeguards Laboratory and the Canberra Crystal Growing Facility. The Alumni also participated in a range of social activities, both informal and formal, and we were very pleased to be able to attend a reception hosted by the University of Tennessee at the UT Football Stadium, the 3rd largest college sports stadium in the USA.
All these different elements allowed the participants to not only re-establish their relationships with those from their own SI year but also network with people from different years, consolidating and extending the network and creating a solid foundation for the future of the global nuclear industry. It was a motivating and inspiring event:
- “The WNU SI was a transformative experience, and the Alumni Assembly allows one to sustain that tranformation over the years” ( Shehab (Sunny) G. Mustafa, Ontario Power Generation)
We are looking at the possibilities to host the WNU Summer Institute Alumni Assembly 2016, with hopes to organize it in the Asia to encourage the participation of more Alumni from that region.The WNU and the participating Summer Institute Alumni would like to thank Oak Ridge National Laboratory for all their support and for allowing us access to their impressive facilities. Thank to those who supported the event through sending participants, speakers or sponsorship.