Views from ...
#NuclearEurope2022: Reflections on our conference and rebrand
This year’s #NuclearEurope2022 conference, entitled “Nuclear Journey to 2050”, kicked off with an opening dinner followed by a full-day conference on the 7th of June. The focus on this year’s event was on what lies ahead as we move towards 2050. In addition to a high-level Opening Session, there were three sessions dedicated to issues such as EU energy and climate policy as well as innovation in the nuclear sector.
It was a pleasure to welcome the variety of high-level speakers who have an immense knowledge of the nuclear field. This regards not only our colleagues from within the industry, but also our political counterparts working in national governments and the European Institutions. There was a lot of information to be absorbed by everyone at the conference, and I hope that once we have had the time to digest the speeches and interventions, we can continue fruitful discussions within our working environments. It is of crucial importance to the energy transition that the industry and politicians understand each other’s wants and needs.
Having touched on the event itself, I must move on to the elephant in the room. Over the years we have evolved from ‘Forum Atomique Européen’, to ‘European Atomic Forum’, and finally to what we have today: FORATOM. However, this name carries with it a certain ambiguity. Truth be told – this was not always a bad thing! Many people have an inherent dislike towards nuclear, but we believe that the future of nuclear is bright once again and that opinions are changing. It is this momentum has given us a new impetus; we are extremely proud to represent the nuclear industry. For this reason, FORATOM has rebranded itself as nucleareurope. The goal of this rebranding is to bring more clarity to stakeholders in Brussels about who we represent.
This rebrand has been under wraps for some time. FORATOM was due to celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2020 and we wanted to celebrate this significant milestone with the name change. Unfortunately, the global pandemic prevented us from going ahead with our plans as we believe it warranted an in-person launch. It was difficult to keep this exciting development hidden from you for so long, but ultimately, we are happy we did. The reveal was a great success!
Despite the rebrand, our overall goals have not changed. We have long warned of a looming energy crisis, to which the war in Ukraine is just the tip of the iceberg. As Europe continues to navigate through this crisis as best we can, we must also actively draw lessons from it. We must become less dependent on external sources of energy. Clearly, nuclear technologies can play a big role in this regard. Nuclear can provide several solutions, including: (1) a stable, affordable and low-carbon source of electricity; (2) an assisting role in the production of low-carbon hydrogen in Europe; and (3) innovation, in particular with the development of Small Modular Reactors which can fulfil specific use cases. I call on all stakeholders to work together for our future. We must sit around a table and come up with practical solutions to fighting climate change and to improve Europe’s energy independence.
Finally, I want to thank all whom attended for joining us for this year’s #NuclearEurope2022 conference. It was a pleasure to welcome you to the event, and I am grateful that we could meet in person. I also want to take a moment to thank our sponsors, starting with our main event sponsors Finnish Energy and its member companies, Fennovoima, Fortum, Posiva and TVO. I would also like to thank EDF, Rolls-Royce SMR, Orano and ROMATOM.