Nugenia - A new European Association dedicated to safe, reliable and competitive nuclear power generation
A new international association - Nugenia - is set to be launched in Brussels on March 20 with a remit to help develop safe, reliable, and competitive second and third generation nuclear systems.
Nugenia, which has around 50 members from 17 countries, brings together the
major European nuclear stakeholders, with members from industry, the
utilities, research institutions and technical safety organizations.
Jean-Pierre West, Research and Development Senior Vice-President for EDF and first President of Nugenia, said: “This association is a unique opportunity for each of its members to exercise both technical and financial leverage through increased cooperation and coordination between industry, research centres and technical safety organisations. Another key for success will be our ability to integrate projects and expertise developed previously in the European Networks of Excellence that Nugenia was built upon.”
In 2007 the European Commission issued its Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan) outlining its main long-term objectives concerning energy production and supply. This essentially meant looking at sustainable development, security of supply and competitiveness.
Technology platforms will play a key role in the implementation of the SET-Plan for Research and Innovation.
These platforms cover different technologies and energy sources, including nuclear energy, which represents a safe and proven technology for the production of low carbon energy at a competitive cost.
To meet the goals laid down in the SET-Plan for nuclear power production, the Sustainable Nuclear Energy Technology Platform (SNETP) was launched in late 2007 and is built on three pillars: current technology and its evolution (Generation II & III); future technology (Generation IV, Fast Breeder Reactors) and cogeneration of power and heat.
Nugenia (“NUclear GENeration II & III Association”), an international non-profit association under Belgian law, was officially set up on November 14, 2011 to provide a single framework for collaborative research and development concerning Generation II & III nuclear systems.
Hervé Pero, Head of Unit at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, supports this evolution.
“The Lunching of Nugenia is more than welcome, as it will support the safe operation of nuclear plants which generate today one third of the electricity in Europe, therefore contributing to its security of energy supply”, he said.
The association was established with a research and development portfolio of approximately €20M, inherited from its constituents.
Nugenia will rely on its built-in principles and organisation to reach its objectives and to satisfy its diverse membership. It is light, flexible, transparent and open, with an active secretariat serving the community. Nugenia will liaise closely with existing external organisations, directly or through Sustainable Nuclear Energy Technology Platform (SNETP). The main value of Nugenia comes through joining forces to attain scientific and technical excellence.
Professor Rauno Rintamaa, Vice President of VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, and Vice-President of Nugenia, said: “This open innovation platform will use state of the art web-based tools to ensure transparency to members. It will become a seeker-solver marketplace where, for example, industry defines a problem and members define research and development projects to solve it. Any member is given a chance to participate.”
In order to make the best skills, facilities and technologies available to all of its members, the activities of Nugenia are organised into six technical areas: plant safety and risk assessment; severe accidents; core and reactor operation, integrity assessment of systems, structures and components, fuel, waste management and dismantling, innovative Generation III design.
Each area will develop and coordinate its own roadmap while ensuring compatibility with the others. The main activity of Nugenia will be the implementation of these roadmaps.
The association will also have two cross-cutting areas: harmonisation and in-service inspection and qualification. Nugenia will also help projects by identifying the best available sources of funding. This funding may come from industry or other members, from the European Commission, national resources or even international sources. Nugenia also offers several other services, such as high-level support for harmonisation, and a professional communication and dissemination service.
The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre was hosting the launch event of Nugenia at the Management Centre Europe in Brussels on March 20, 2012, with one hundred decision-makers in the field from all across Europe. The launch was preceded by the first General Assembly of Nugenia on the same day.