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Young Generation Discusses Atoms4Climate


At the Millennial Nuclear Caucus event panellists from several countries shared their perspectives on the importance of nuclear power in the transition to a low carbon economy. (A. Cartas/IAEA)

Nuclear energy is an integral part of the world’s clean energy future and will require committed and highly skilled young professionals to reach its full potential. That was a key message heard at an event held on the margins of the International Conference on Climate Change and the Role of Nuclear Power in Vienna this week.

“Events such as this are crucial for the transfer of knowledge from experienced leaders in the nuclear field to the next generation and help to foster a sense of community around common goals,” said lead networker Eva Gyane of Women in Nuclear. “It is inspiring to see the enthusiasm of our lead networkers for motivating the next generation to take a hands-on approach to promoting the peaceful uses of nuclear technology.”

About 150 young professionals met at the Millennial Nuclear Caucus, co-organized by the U.S. Department of Energy, to discuss the importance of international collaboration in global decarbonization, as well as the crucial role of young experts in this endeavour.

Engaging nuclear visionaries

Panellists from several countries shared their perspectives on nuclear power’s importance in the transition to a low carbon economy.

“To mitigate climate change, we need all technologies that generate low carbon energy and nuclear is one of them,” said panellist Emmanuel Wandera of the Nuclear Electricity Project in Kenya. Kenya is currently considering introducing nuclear power to help meet future energy needs while minimizing carbon emissions.

Participants also discussed potential careers and their motivation for working in the nuclear field.

“I hope that the participation of the young generation in the conference and this event will serve as a motivation for others to continue to pursue careers in the nuclear field and promote peaceful and scientific applications of nuclear technologies,” said Najat Mokhtar, IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Nuclear Sciences and Applications.

The event featured a speed networking session where attendees met senior professionals in the nuclear field. The United Nations Nuclear Young Generation Mentoring Programme and the IAEA chapter of Women in Nuclear designated 15 lead networkers who spoke with young professionals during the speed networking session, sharing stories of their career and academic trajectories, challenges and opportunities, as well as their motivation to work towards a clean energy future. They also discussed what attracted them to nuclear science and why they encourage others to follow the same path.

The event was supported by the International Youth Nuclear Congress (IYNC), a global organization connecting students and young professionals engaged in all areas of peaceful nuclear science and technology. The IYNC used the event to shine a light on its upcoming bi-annual Congress, to be held in Sydney, Australia, in March 2020.

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