News

02.10.17

The 25th Women in Nuclear Global Annual Conference

The 25th Women in Nuclear Global Annual Conference

Beijing, China 2017

My reflections from an inspiring conference – Jack Gritt, President Women in Nuclear UK

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Founded in 1992, Women in Nuclear Global (WiN Global) is a not-for-profit global organisation which supports and encourages women working in the nuclear industry. Currently WiN Global has approximately 35,000 members from 109 countries and organisations – WiN UK being one of these.

It was the first time an event of this type has been hosted in China. The hosts were WiN Global and the Chinese Nuclear Society (CNS) in co-operation with State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC) and State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation (SNPTC). The theme of the conference centred around Co-operation and Harmony – very fitting and in-line with Chinese culture.

Our week started with the WiN Global Executive and Board meeting. It was a meeting where we could all solidify our thoughts on the achievements of WiN Global and look to our future strategy. It was also a wonderful opportunity to meet all the leading figures in WIN Global and build relationships that are usually only conducted through virtual interactions. Never underestimate the power of face-to-face interaction and discussion, it bonds us with a strength and gives us greater motivation when we build these “real time” relationships!

When the meeting concluded we were treated to a spectacular lunch by hosts SNPTC.

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And then on to a tour of The Great Wall of China which was breathtaking. (Remember we were working hard but there has to be some perks of the job!)

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The conference started in earnest on day 2 with a wonderful opening ceremony and opening remarks from Ms. SONG Xiuyan closely followed by the President of WiN Global Ms. Gabriele Voight.

The most interesting part of the day was hearing all the chapter reports from across the world – understanding the different approaches to encouraging women to join the nuclear sector and the progress being made.

The day ended after a spectacular Gala Dinner where delegates were treated to a a Chinese banquet and a feast for the eyes in the form of many traditional Chinese performances. A truly wonderful way to get a feel and understanding of Chinese culture.

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On day 3 we moved to panel discussions and the theme of Co-operation and Harmony.

I was particularly inspired by Irene Aegerter (founder of WiN International, now WiN Global) who made a passionate and clear case for the future need of nuclear energy.

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We were treated to further panel discussions with interesting and knowledgeable guests walking us through a variety of topics (too numerous to detail here!) but the essence of the panels was as follows:

  1. The Charm of Nuclear: Focusing on nuclear technology and application in nuclear energy, food and agriculture, health, water, environmental protection and industry. Stories about the impact of the promising nuclear technology around the world.
  2. Women in Nuclear: Highlighting the vital role women play in all application of nuclear science and technology, especially in research and development, education and training, management and engineering.
  3. Nuclear Cooperation: Promote the collaboration amongst WiN Chapters and members, and through the cooperation with international organisations including the IAEA, etc.
  4. Nuclear Safety: Discussion on safety culture, regulation and the involvement of women professionals.
  5. Harmony in Nuclear: Communicating on the pursuit of harmony in nuclear technology and application, particularly on harmony between human and nature, harmony between the industry and the public, harmony between career and family.

 

The day concluded with Ms. RONG Fang (Chief Economist of SNPTC and Executive Secretary of WiN China) handing over of the WiN Global flag to Ms. Melina Belinco of WiN Argentina who will be hosting the 26th Annual Conference in Barloche, Argentina between 11-17 March 2018 (along with thanks from me and a photo opportunity with Ms. Gabriele Voigt, President, WiN Global!).

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Day 4 bought a fascinating tour of the The Centre of Excellence on Nuclear Security – a new facility covering all aspects of nuclear security. The centre has many state of the art facilities including an analysis laboratory, technological demonstration and training building, scientific research building, environmental laboratory, response force exercise facility and physical protection testing field.  One particularly interesting building was the “Mock Nuclear Material Bunker” which deployed a terrifying system of razor wire to prevent physical access to nuclear material!

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And so our week concluded with goodbyes and thanks. The 25th Women in Nuclear Global Annual Conference in Beijing, China, was a triumph. It was a landmark event with China opening its doors to the world and welcoming us all with warmth and insightful presentations – all in the true spirit of Co-operation and Harmony.

 My personal thanks go to WiN Global and our gracious hosts in China!