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67th North West Dinner Goes Down a Treat

The President of the Nuclear Institute, Rear Admiral Tim Chittenden, welcomed 650 people from over 45 nuclear establishments to the 67th Annual Dinner of the NI North West Branch on Thursday 22nd May 2014. 

The event was held at The Point, Lancashire County Cricket Club, Manchester with  the Guest-of-Honour and Keynote Speaker Mike Weightman CB and the Celebrity Speaker was the noted politician Alan Johnson MP. MIke Weightman also received the Hinton Medal, in recognition of his outstanding contribution towards ensuring nuclear safety both nationally and internationally.

The NW Branch Chairman and Top Table host, Chris Williams commenced proceedings by introducing the Top Table, which together with the NI President, Guest-of-Honour and Celebrity Speaker also included: John Clarke, Chief Executive Officer, Nuclear Decommissioning Authority; Keith Collett, Managing Director, Nuvia Ltd; Andrew Hall, Chief Inspector, Office for Nuclear Regulation and Michael Hughes, Commercial Director, AMEC Ltd.

After the assembly enjoyed an excellent meal, Tim Chittenden requested Mike Weightman to come forward to receive the Nuclear institute’s most prestigious award, the Hinton Medal. The medal is awarded to an individual who has demonstrated excellence and achievement in nuclear science or engineering with a strong commitment to nuclear safety.  Mike Weightman then delivered a thought-provoking speech emphasizing the need to meet the highest levels of nuclear safety and concluded his address by proposing a toast “To the Nuclear Institute”. (Read more of the speech)

Mike Weightman and Tim Chittenden

Tim Chittenden, the NI President, responded on behalf of the Nuclear Institute by thanking Mike for his words of wisdom and congratulated him on the continuing high performance of consultancy advice on nuclear, which was a vital positive contribution towards the public’s acceptance of nuclear power. He then explained and outlined the importance of the Nuclear Delta, and the good work that the Nuclear Institute is doing in collaboration with the National Skills Academy for Nuclear (NSAN) in striving to improve the skills base for the nuclear industry. (The full speech is to be published in Nuclear Future)

Awards were then presented to prize-winning graduates from the Nuclear Technology Education Consortium (NTEC) MSc in Nuclear Science and Technology for the Academic Year 2012/13 and winners of the YGN’s NW Region Speaking Competition, which had been organized by Tom Eastup of Atkins Ltd. The R.V. Moore Prize provided by the Nuclear Institute for the top full-time student on the taught elements of the MSc programme was awarded to joint winners Anna Bradley and Thomas Namgauds. The Prize provided by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority for the top part-time student on the taught elements of the MSc programme was awarded to Anthony Burgess. The Nuclear Institute Masters Distinguished performance Prize was awarded to Matthew Dawber. The Winner of the YGN NW Branch Speaking Competition was Claire Marshall of Nuclear Graduates, with the second place going to Lisa Booth of Amec and the third place to Jess Revill of the University of Liverpool.

Thomas Namgauds Lisa Booth and Matthew Dawber

The Dinner was then rounded off in fine style by the ‘Celebrity Speaker’ Alan Johnson MP, relating many anecdotal and amusing experiences during his early working career and on becoming a Member of Parliament and a Secretary of State in several Government Departments. Most pertinent being the DTI where he gained a good insight of the benefits of nuclear power as a source of energy for the nation, to much applause from the assembled diners.

Alan concluded by auctioning in fine style, a cricket bat autographed by the Lancashire CCC team, donated by Lancashire County Cricket Club, and  two tickets for the Twickenham England v Wales rugby union match, donated by the Nuclear Dining Club, for the princely sums of £260 and £500  respectively. The proceeds from these auctions going to the Christie Hospital to support their research into eradicating Male Prostate Cancer. 

NW Chair Chris Williams and Alan Johnson MP

Finally, a charity tombola with prizes generously donated by the Corporate Members of the Nuclear Institute raised over £4500 for the ‘Save-the-Children Fund’.

The event was finally brought to a close by Chris Williams thanking the organisers and staff at The Point for putting on such a good meal and ensuring a pleasurable event, and everyone present for attending, wishing them a safe journey home.