5 April 2017, Astana. A congratulatory letter on behalf of the Youth Department of the Nuclear Society of Kazakhstan was delivered by ISTC’s Senior Programme Manager and Diplomatic Advisor Kamen Velichkov to the participants in the Inaugural African Youth Nuclear Summit, held last week in Nairobi. The letter was read to over 200 young and senior professionals in nuclear from 20 + countries who gathered for the four-day event in the capital of Kenya. The Kenyan Young Generation in Nuclear (KYGN) hosted the Summit thanks to the generous backing of the EU’s funded Project 60, managed by the International Science and Technology Center (ISTC). KYGN organized the Summit in conjunction with the South African Young Nuclear Professionals Society (SAYNPS) both being affiliate bodies to the International Youth Nuclear Congress (IYNC) – a global network of professionals in the nuclear industry.
ISTC, which maintains fruitful contacts with the Nuclear Society of Kazakhstan and its youth section, initiated the first formal contact between the Kazakhstani nuclear youth and the African young professionals in nuclear. “The theme and aims of the summit are all alarming issues. It is essential to pass the knowledge from the present day leading scientists to the future generations… We would love to participate and discuss such issues and to exchange experience in this field”, states the letter from Kazakhstan.
This message was well received by the young professionals from Africa who last week established their continental network, titled African Young Generation in Nuclear. The letter from Kazakhstan was welcomed also by the leadership of the International Youth Nuclear Congress who actively participated in the Summit in Nairobi. IYNC is a global network of future leaders of the nuclear industry from 49 member states, where local youth generation networks are established. So far young nuclear specialists from only four CIS countries – Belarus, Lithuania, Russia and Ukraine – take part in the global network. The President of the IYNC Janin Denis expressed the readiness of the Board of Directors to expedite the membership of the Kazakhstani nuclear youth should the Central Asian professionals decide to join the global network. In 2017 IYNC commemorates 20 years since its inception; and in 2018 it convenes in Argentina its ninth biannual conference.
The young nuclear specialists are committed to develop new approaches to communicate the benefits of nuclear power, to transfer knowledge from the current nuclear generation to the next and across international borders, and to provide a platform for professional networking among future leaders in the nuclear industry. Some of these goals are at the core of Project 60, which seeks to enhance regional collaboration amongst nuclear and radiological experts and institutions from Eastern and Central Africa and to increase the nuclear safety and security in the region. Engaging young nuclear specialists from academia and industry in some of the public awareness activities of Project 60 was a topic discussed with the Managing Board of the Kenyan Young Generation in Nuclear.
Project 60 Support the EU CBRN Center of Excellence for Eastern and Central Africa in Nuclear Security, implemented by ISTC, managed by the European Commission’s DG DEVCO and funded by the EU’s Instrument contributing to Security and Peace, involves 12 participating countries in a range of activities from trainings and field exercises to recovery of orphan sources, to recommendations on legal and regulatory frameworks for the management of nuclear material.