Uwe Stoll on ETSON’s way ahead

Dear readers,

The beginning of a new year is a suitable occasion to reflect on upcoming challenges. Therefore, I would like to address you not in my capacity as technical-scientific director of GRS – which provides for the content of this edition of the EUROSAFE Newsletter – but as the newly elected president of the European Technical Safety Organisations Network (ETSON). To begin with, I would like to start by thanking my predecessor Benoit de Boeck for his commitment and the efforts he took to further ETSON. I would also like to thank Michel Van haesendonck of Bel V and Alexander Khamaza of SEC NRC for making themselves available as the new vice presidents as well as Jean-Christophe Niel of IRSN and Leon Cizelj of JSI for taking on their tasks as new secretary and treasurer of ETSON.

Since its establishment ETSON has truly come a long way. Starting off in 2006 with its three founding members GRS, IRSN and Bel V, the network has significantly expanded. Today, our members include 16 Technical Safety and Support Organisations (TSOs) from all over Europe together with the Japanese Nuclear Regulation Authority as one of three associated members. Aiming for a continuous development and promotion of best practices in nuclear safety assessment, ETSON is not only working with the respective national regulatory authorities but has established trustful relationships with the European Commission and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Hosting and supporting by an immense number of presentations the 2018 IAEA TSO Forum in Brussels and analysing the technical implementation of the nuclear safety requirements introduced by the 2014 Euratom Directive in support of the EC are just two visible examples of our collaboration. Summing up, it seems quite fair to say that ETSON´s work has been successful so far.

However, facing significant changes in our surroundings – both in technical as well as in political terms –, we are convinced that ETSON has to keep developing. The aim we are heading for is to be the leading European expert association in the field of nuclear safety and security assessment and research. With a view to this vision, we have assessed our strategies and, under the slogan “Thrilling ETSON”, formulated a range of activities and goals which ETSON will focus on.

Firstly, we strive to enhance our cooperation with other international institutions such as the European Commission and the IAEA, but also with the Western European Nuclear Regulators Association (WENRA) and the European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group (ENSREG). As all our members closely cooperate with their respective national regulatory authorities, it is only natural to expand this collaborative partnership to the European level.

Secondly, we will intensify our efforts not only with regard to our technical-scientific work but in particular when it comes to communicating its results. To this end, we will not only bolster ongoing formats to distribute our findings – for example by conducting three workshops in 2019 – but also explore new ways to make our work more visible and tangible.

Last but not least, we will amplify our activities related to the promotion of younger experts. ETSON´s Junior Staff Programme (JSP) plays a key role in this respect, as it covers two vital aspects: facilitating an in-depth exchange on scientific knowledge and competencies as well as helping up-and-coming scientists to establish sustainable personal networks within an international community.

I hope this first glance at our plans for the upcoming months and years has aroused your curiosity. So please stay tuned to ETSON´s frequencies – there is more to come!

To conclude, I would also like to invite you to browse through what GRS has to offer you in this edition of the EUROSAFE Newsletter. As you will see, we cover a broad range of topics which I hope you will find interesting.

Wishing you a successful 2019 and for now happy reading,

Uwe Stoll
Scientific and Technical Director, GRS