Become a part of the nuclear family and have your say in debating about the nuclear world! Check out the 2006 International Youth Nuclear Congress. The conference - created by young scientists in the field to discuss nuclear issues - will take place in Stockholm, Sweden and Olkiluoto, Finland from 18-23 June 2006.
"We´re really excited about this," said Martin Luthander, one of the Swedish organisers, "Especially about co-hosting it with Finland… It continues (the tradition of) sharing and working together to promote peaceful uses of nuclear science."
Dynamic presentations, speakers, panel sessions and workshops on science and technology, waste, non-power applications, and economics will challenge all the participants, he added.
And if that´s not enough, the participants will take a boat ride and trek to Olkiluoto, Finland, to see the first European Pressurized Reactor and geological storage site for nuclear waste. "This will be interesting. Right now, we´re at a crossroad, looking at the uncertain future in the field," Luthander said. Politics and economics will determine how we move forward, and waste management is just one example of how they play out, he added.
To spice things up, the organizers will also expose the participants to the charms of one of the most popular Scandinavian events - the Midsummer Festival. "We´ll do the traditional thing: eat traditional foods, drink traditional drinks," said Luthander.
Midsummer was originally a fertility ritual, dating back to the Viking Era. Today, it´s a national holiday celebrated during the summer solstice. Family and friends get together, eat herring and potatoes, and drink beer and schnapps.
"We have to give people a little taste of Scandinavia," he chuckled.
That taste of Scandinavia will extend to a welcome reception at the Stockholm City Hall, opening reception at the Royal Opera House, cultural evening at the Vasa Museum and a farewell dinner at Turku Castle in Finland.
Although the financial sponsorship and volunteer-based preparations have been a challenge to the organisers, Luthander says the scale tips in favour of benefits. "The chance to see other people in the industry from all over the world, share experiences and network is invaluable."
Support for the event has been steady over six years, showing that the need for a youth-centred nuclear forum exists. The other three meetings organized by the International Youth Nuclear Congress have each had roughly 250 attendees. They were held in Bratislava (Slovakia), Daejeon (Korea) and Toronto (Canada). The International Youth Nuclear Congress conference occurs every two years.