Below is a guest blog from our friends at NA-YGN’s Chalk River Chapter. They recently put on a very successful professional networking event that included delegates from Canadian and American chapters and offered the opportunity to learn more about the activities at Chalk River Labs and network with their peers. Please read on for a fulsome summary.
On November 8th and 9th the North American Young Generation in Nuclear (NA-YGN) Chalk River Chapter and Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) hosted 50 delegates from Canadian and American Chapters, originating from several different nuclear sites throughout North America for the inaugural professional networking event: Past, Present and Future in Nuclear. Overall, the event was a great success and provided delegates with a significant opportunity to learn about the varied research projects currently ongoing at Chalk River and network with peers from other nuclear stations throughout the continent.
The event kicked off Thursday evening with the Past section, where Joan Miller welcomed the delegates on behalf of AECL as NAYGN’s Executive Sponsor. Morgan Brown, as the keynote speaker, then gave an entertaining and informative seminar on the history of nuclear science and technology in Canada and, specifically, Chalk River’s role in shaping and development of the Canadian nuclear industry. The talk touched briefly on the role of the CANDU nuclear reactors in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick and their respective energy distribution grids, and proceeded to lead into the historical reasons why Canada went with a heavy water reactor design.
A tour of Chalk River Laboratories on Friday November 9th was the main focal point of the event – showcasing the Present State of the Nuclear Industry in Canada. The delegates experienced several aspects of the Laboratories, showcasing the numerous different areas of current nuclear research and development with several industry and academic partners. Some of the areas showcased included mechanical systems design, nuclear non-proliferation detection equipment, the effects of radiation on biological systems, and the chemical production of hydrogen. The driving focus behind these tours was to increase the awareness of the important role AECL and Chalk River serves to the Canadian nuclear industry in our partners throughout the industry.
Friday evening served complete the event, with a panel discussion focused on the Future State of the Nuclear Industry in Canada. Executives from AECL, the Canadian Nuclear Association, and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, were in attendance to provide insight into the future role of nuclear technology in supplying baseload electricity, the future of small modular reactors in the Canadian North, as well as the focus of future public outreach activities and what could be done to increase positive public perception of nuclear technology. The initial series of questions asked to panel members and the ensuing discussions were quite insightful, with an excellent opportunity provided for delegates to ask questions related to future of the industry following.
Overall, the inaugural NAYGN Past, Present and Future of Nuclear event was a great success …