Back in the year 1995, the European Nuclear Society launched the idea of setting-up a European Young Generation Network, promoted and supported by the national societies. The same year, the Belgian Nuclear Society - Young Generation was set up and started its activities. Since 1995, a variety of activities has been organised by the past BNS-YG Core Groups within the mission of the BNS.
The presence of about 40 new young people at the BNS conference on simulators which was held in 1996 was a very encouraging start for the Young Generation. The 100 replies to a YG questionnaire made it clear tat there was an interest in the concept of the YG network.
Several Evening Lectures on diverse topics, from technical towards social issues, have been organised for the YG Network members. A dip at random in the YG Evening Lecture archive:
The development of MOX (2004), the CO2 emissions of the nuclear fuel cycle (2008)
Nuclear Applications in Space (2002)
Nuclear and Terrorism (2002), The 7th UN Inspection in Iraq (2003)
Speed, Heat and Beauty: Unexpected Applications of Nuclear Technology (2001)
Nuclear and Media (2004), Journalism and Nuclear (2007), Public Perception of Radioactive Waste Disposal (2004), Debate between Young Politicians about Nuclear Energy (1999), Social Psychology on Nuclear Technology (1996)
Nuclear Pioneer's Experiences (2003), Transfer of Know-How (2000)
Since 2004, the YG yearly organises the BNS Thesis Contest, at which the best master thesis in the nuclear field is awarded during a YG Evening Lecture.
The YGN tries to offer her members unique Technical Visits on high level in different nuclear installations in and outside Belgium. Amongst others the following visits have been organised: ISOTOPOLIS and FBFC (1996), Belgonucléaire (1997), IRE (2001), Onderzoekscentrum Jülich (DE, 2005), IBA (2006), BR2 reactor at SCK (2006), Westinghouse Nivelles (2007), ... In 2008 a visit to the nuclear department of the European Space Agency (ESA) in Noordwijk, The Netherlands, has been scheduled.
Since the start of her activities, the YGN tries to stimulate young people to study the fascinating nuclear science. Different initiatives have been set up in the past. Letters and folders are sent regularly to the professors of the Belgian Universities and Hogescholen/Ecoles Supérieures to introduce the BNS-YG and her activities.
A very important task of the YGN is informing the public about the peaceful applications of nuclear, in order to inform the public in a correct scientific way, without taking position in different hot issues. In 1999, the ENS-YG wrote a position paper (in EN, DU, FR) about the future need for nuclear energy, which was sent to different European journals for publication. In Belgium, it was published in 'De Standaard'. in 1999, a questionnaire was launched to find out peoples knowledge and opinion about the nuclear industry. The findings were presented during a workshop at the Flanders Technology International Fare. The same year, a debate between young politicians about nuclear energy has been organised. Further on, the YGN invited in 2000 young politicians at Isotopolis and HADES in order to inform them about the waste issue. In 2008, a delegation of the YGN has been asked to make a presentation about nuclear energy for a political party, Open VLD/Vivant. The effort on this mission of the YG will be increased in the near future.
The Belgian YGN originates from a European initiative, and continuously tries to perform its mission on a European level by participating to ENS delegations on conferences. The Belgian YG sent once per year a delegation to the International Youth Nuclear Conference (IYNC) conference (2000, 2004, 2006, and 2008) or European Youth Generation Forum EYGF (2007), and participated in working groups of the ENS-YG (e.g. to the ENS-YG participation at the UN Climate Change Conferences in 1999 and 2008).
Finally, the YGN is a young, enthusiastic and dynamic group that likes to have fun. Social Activities are regularly organised: a biking tour around the Schelde river, a yearly dinner for the core group members, a cultural activity, ...