The first International Youth Nuclear Forum Obninsk NEW, held as part of the "Week of Nuclear Education" in Obninsk, has completed. About 600 participants (experts, students, postgraduates, young scientists and teachers) from more than 70 countries gathered at the venue. More than 50 various events took place over four days, from the Nuclear Technology Forum to Obninsk tours and training sessions. There were more than 130 speakers from 21 countries: Russia, Bolivia, Turkey, Vietnam, Egypt, India, South Africa, Panama, Kyrgyzstan, Brazil, Tanzania, Namibia, Serbia, Armenia, China, Kenya, Brunei, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, England, Rwanda. The program included a strategic session on the design of the ‘‘Obninsk Tech’’, a research and educational centre for nuclear and related technologies, as well as the E.P. Slavsky Youth Scientific and Technical Conference.
Within the framework of the forum, the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) and STAR-NET (a regional network for education and training in nuclear technology) signed an agreement on co-operation in the field of nuclear education. The document was signed on behalf of STAR-NET by Vladimir Shevchenko, President of the network and Rector of the National Research Nuclear University MEPhI, and by Mikhail Chudakov, Deputy Director General of the Agency and Head of the Department of Nuclear Energy on behalf of the IAEA.
The honoured participants of the forum were: Alexey Likhachev, Director General of Rosatom, Mikhail Chudakov, Deputy Director General of the IAEA, Sama Bilbao y León, President of the World Nuclear Association, Ortenzia Jimenez Rivera, Director General of the Bolivian Atomic Energy Agency, Alikaan Ciftci, Head of the Nuclear Industry Association of Turkey, Vladimir Shevchenko, chancellor of MEPhI University, Tatyana Terentyeva, Deputy Director General of Rosatom for Personnel, Tatyana Leonova, Mayor of Obninsk, and others.
It was the first event in the worldwide nuclear industry where young people were squarely involved into discussions on the concept of a new nuclear education as part of the ‘‘Obninsk-Tech’’, International Research and Education Centre for Nuclear and Allied Technologies, establishment by 2030.
‘‘Obninsk-Tech’’ will become not only an educational but also a scientific centre. Experts will be trained in advanced technologies, such as: nuclear fuel cycle closure, 4th generation of nuclear power, thermonuclear, photonics, quantum computing, nuclear medicine. In addition, there also will be opened centres for construction and industrial design, prototyping and additive technologies. The scientific programme will be shaped with the participation of Rosatom partner countries. It is planned that by the 2030 more than 20,000 students will be studying at ‘‘Obninsk Tech’’.
A meeting between Alexey Likhachev and the Rosatom Student Council, which was established in July of this year, was also held at the forum. It was attended by 30 students of MEPhI, MPEI, Tomsk Polytechnic Institute, V.I. Lenin Institute of Power Engineering and many others. The participants presented the first results of their work on career guidance for schoolchildren and the maximum convergence of university curricula with the needs of the industry. They also planned for the future. What opportunities work at Rosatom offers? What kind of atmosphere has been created in the industry? What tools will help to enter the industry? These and other questions members of the student council help young people across the country to answer. Alexey Likhachev supported the initiative. ‘‘The university years pass quickly but this time is extremely important, because a kind of a "deferred personnel reserve" formation takes place in universities’’. The earlier the training of future employees begins, the easier it will be for them to enter the industry. With the help of student community activists Rosatom is ready to engage in a trust-based dialogue with young people about their future place of work’’, – the head of the State Corporation noted.The Director General of Rosatom emphasised that for the project to be successful, students should self-organise and create a community of people who want to be part of the industry. According to his words, Rosatom should also be ready to present young people a wide range of areas for realisation: from fusion, nuclear icebreaker fleet and space technologies to volunteering. The next meeting will take place from 28 to 30 November in Sochi at the ‘‘AtomProfi’’ Forum of Rosatom Young Professionals.
One of the key events of the forum was the plenary session ‘‘Towards the creation of Obninsk-Tech – a global scientific and educational centre’’, that concluded the business programme of the event. During the session, Diana Gamazova, a member of the Impact Team 2050 Youth Council, shared a consolidated vision of the Centre's concept, as well as feedback and wishes for the future project. In terms of creating a modern comfortable space, meeting career needs and scientific development on behalf of the young delegates of the forum. As a result of the forum, there will be established an international youth programme committee to oversee the implementation of the project. There will also be taken into account the young people interests as the main stakeholder of the new education and science centre.
During the closing speech Tatyana Terentyeva, Rosatom Deputy General Director for Personnel, thanked the young delegates of the forum. She also noted that ‘‘your active work at the forum and the scale of issues proposed beyond the energy sector was another confirmation that it is you who are the future. I am sure you will change the world for the better. We will help you with everything we have. We have a common code – both you and Rosatom are innovators and winners, who strive for the future. Let's create it together, we can make it fair and happy for each of us’’.
At the final session Tatyana Leonova, Mayor of Obninsk, also noted that ‘‘Obninsk-Tech’’ will not be a competitor, but will be a partner for universities around the world. It will train specialists for the industry, coordinating efforts on this training’’.
The International Youth Nuclear Forum was organised by Rosatom State Corporation, Obninsk City Administration, and National Research Nuclear University MEPhI.
Over 50 events and activities took place over 4 days. The two-day business programme of the forum included 2 plenary and 8 thematic sessions, 7 reports on the most topical and exciting topics of nuclear science, as well as a youth scientific and technical conference named after E.P. Slavsky. There were 5 technological tours, 7 trainings, film screenings of unique short films about science, 9 excursions, including visits to the world's first NPP and sports tournaments during the ‘‘Week of Nuclear Education’’. And the finale of the official programme of the Forum was a youth concert dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the Obninsk Institute of Atomic Energy (IATE MEPhI).
The forum was held in preparation for the World Youth Festival 2024 and the Decade of Science and Technology in the Russian Federation announced by the President of Russia.