17th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering (ICONE17)

July 12-16, 2009, Brussels, Belgium

The conference about nuclear energy and research, nuclear and mechanical engineering and nuclear industry was organized by the American Society of Mechanical Engineering (ASME) and Chinese Nuclear Society in cooperation with the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineering (JSME). Financial support of the conference was also helped by Belgian Nuclear Society, European Nuclear Society, Royal Flemish Society of Engineers and Foratom- European Atomic Forum. Around 750 experts from the countries all around the globe (but mostly USA, China and Japan) gathered in Brussels to discuss many important issues concerning nuclear engineering.

Conference took place at Sheraton Brussels Hotel in Brussels, Belgium. It had started on 12th July with a two workshops on CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) Seminar – which is already a standard workshop for ICONE conferences and ER&LCM (Engineering Reliability and Life Cycle Management) Seminar. The same day few committee meetings were held. On 13th of July the conference including technical sessions began. Since the conference gathered nuclear and mechanical specialists many technical papers from various fields were submitted and presented.

Technical program was divided in fifteen tracks. ICONE17 covered a wide range of topics including:

- Component Reliability and Materials Issues
- Structural Integrity
- Advanced Application of Nuclear Technology
- High & Low Level Waste Management and Decommissioning
- Balance of Plant for Nuclear Applications
- Thermal Hydraulics
- Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), Neutronics Method and Coupled Codes
- Current Advanced Reactors- Plant Designs, Licensing, Construction and Public Acceptance
- Instrumentation & Controls (I&C)
- Next Generation Systems
- Plant Operations, Maintenance, Engineering, Modifications and Life Cycle
- Student Paper Competition
- Nuclear Industry Forum - Keynote, Plenary and Panel Sessions
- Codes, Standards, Licensing And Regulatory Issues
- Safety And Security

In order to have overview during four-day conference I always chose one day in advance which presentations I would like to attend next day. Otherwise you could find yourself lost in the conference schedule in many floors and rooms of Sheraton hotel.

I had tried to attend as many different presentations from various fields as it was possible and achievable. Mainly, presentations I attended were dedicated to European Pressurized Water Reactor (EPR), AP1000 and great attendance was give to the medium and small, modular reactors. Some of the tracks I participated were: Equipment Decommissioning and Decontamination, Applications in Biology and Medicine, Forth Generation Reactors, Nuclear Risk Analysis, Reactor Containment issues and Fuel Cycle Development and Core Design.

Since at the conference mechanical engineers from all around the world we present, I could not skip some of the presentations from “mechanical” field. Heat exchangers and bundles, fluid dynamics, material issues for future reactor generation and numerical simulations were just one part of those discussions concerning mechanical engineering (but also crucial for nuclear engineering).

Through the ICONE17 Student program, the conference also fostered the development of future nuclear professionals. This year ICONE hosted 64 students. Student presentations were included in the Track 14 divided into eleven sub- sessions. These sessions gave me the opportunity to figure out where exactly young nuclear researches in Czech Republic are positioned in the worlds’ nuclear research and if we are following the worlds’ nuclear trends. At the end of the conference the best student paper with the best poster (with the first, second and third places) were chosen.

Unfortunately, at the first day of the conference we were informed that the Student technical tour on Doel NPP (one of the two Nuclear Power Plants in Belgium) was cancelled.

Concerning Student program I would like to underline one important issue which can be useful in the future for all the students interested in this kind of conference. Most of the students got the financial support from the ASME which covered all my accommodation expenses and registration fees! That is why I would advice all students from CYG to think about this benefit and use it in full in the future ICONE18 conference which will take place in Xi’an, China, in the year 2010.

Important part of the conference was also the Poster Session where approximately 30 posters were presented. In this session I participated with a poster “Research Reactor VR-1 and Determination of Neutron Spatial Distribution in its Radial Experimental Channel”. I found this session really useful and interesting since many people came to read our posters and had many questions about our current research and plans in the future. It enabled us to consult and discus our posters with specialists and to hear the comments and critics concerning our work.

I found extremely useful my participation in ICONE17 conference and presenting the research project and poster in front of many people. Also, I enjoyed participating in the Student track where I met many young people from nuclear field which share the same enthusiasm concerning nuclear energy as we in CYG do. In the future I would like to participate in ICONE18 conference in China and I hope other members of CYG will also take part in it.

Marija Miletić, sekce mladých

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