The International Youth Nuclear Congress (IYNC)1 was held in Sydney, Australia during 8–13 March, 2020, and cohosted with the Australian Young Generation in Nuclear (AusYGN).2 The IYNC and AusYGN are organizations, which committed to ensuring that the youth are engaged and supported within the nuclear industry, and able to capitalize on the numerous professional opportunities for careers, networking and development. Under the theme “Diversity in Nuclear”, the mission of the IYNC2020 was to promote and enable the diversity of people engaged in the many peaceful uses of nuclear science and technology.
The IYNC2020 aimed to promote and encourage diversity of people. Diversity comes in many forms, including gender, culture, educational background, professional experience, and geographical location. It successfully showcased the diversity in the peaceful uses and applications of nuclear science and technology by encouraging interactions between participants, particularly, in the sharing of knowledge and ideas between professionals of different personal and professional backgrounds and different generations of nuclear experts.
Despite all the challenges associated with the growing global pandemic, over 250 participants attended the Congress (Fig. 1) including students, young professionals, and speakers from 43 countries.
An important aspect of the IYNC has always been its technical contributions. The IYNC is the perfect platform for young professionals to share their latest works and research with other participants from all around the world. Holding true to its theme, the IYNC2020 had a variety of technical offerings to delegates including keynote sessions, plenaries, panels workshops, technical presentations, and posters. Topics ranged from diagnosing cancer to improving agricultural production all presenting nuclear science and technology as a critical contributor to global sustainable development goals.
This event was the first of its kind in Australia and not only showcased the breadth of nuclear applications, but it also celebrated the diversity of people, who deliver these outcomes to society.
Various international organizations' and companies' leaders in the sector joined IYNC2020 and expressed their enthusiasm and support for the growth of the young professional community (in person or virtually). Among others Rosatom, ANSTO, USA Department of Energy, IAEA, WNA, WANO, NEA, Thomas Thor, and many more.
The IYNC2020 was an enriching and enlightening event for the nuclear community as whole. Posing and reflecting on an important and pressing topic like diversity from the youth perspective can be considered a unique opportunity for a more concrete and intragenerational discussion worldwide.
One of the outcomes from the IYNC2020 is certainly its high standard technical contributions to the nuclear community. The IYNC2020 proceedings are composed of more than 200 summaries and what is following is the selections of 20 papers of the highest quality that compose this special issue of ASME Journal of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Science.
Hope you will enjoy the reading.
International Youth Nuclear Congress
The International Youth Nuclear Congress (IYNC), created in 1997, is a global nongovernmental, nonprofit organization and network, connecting students and young professionals engaged in all areas of nuclear science and applications. It proudly embraces representatives from 51 countries and six continents. Its missions are to:
Develop new approaches to communicate the benefits of applications of nuclear science and technology, including nuclear power as a low-carbon energy source, as part of a balanced energy mix;
Promote further peaceful uses of nuclear science and technology for the welfare of mankind and sustainable development;
Transfer knowledge from the current generation of leading scientists to the next generation and across international boundaries; and
Provide a platform and create building of professional networks that will open up future opportunities.
Australian Young Generation in Nuclear
The Australian Young Generation in Nuclear is committed to ensuring all Australians continue to gain the maximum benefit from nuclear science and technology tomorrow, by engaging and supporting young Australians today.
The Australian Young Generation in Nuclear aims to:
Develop and expand the network of young nuclear professionals within Australia and around the world;
Promote the peaceful uses and benefits of nuclear science and technology;
Promote transfer of knowledge between different generations of nuclear professionals;
Promote transfer of knowledge between young nuclear professionals;
Create professional development opportunities for young Australians in the nuclear industry;
Encourage young Australians to take up a career in the nuclear industry; and
Be a voice for young professionals to the rest of the nuclear industry.
International Youth Nuclear Congress
The IYNC holds a series of congresses, which have been held every two years since 2000 worldwide: Slovakia (2000), South Korea (2002), Canada (2004), Sweden/Finland (2006), Switzerland (2008), South Africa (2010), USA (2012), Spain (2014), China (2016), Argentina (2018), and Australia (2020). The next congress will be held in Russia in 2022.
The IYNC2020 General Co-chairs would like to acknowledge the Guest Editors of the present Special Section (Ignacio Gomez-Garcia-Torano (CEA, France), Kampanart Silva (ENTEC, Thailand), Kevin Fernandez Cosials (UPM, Spain), Kota Kawai (MRI, Japan), and Thomas Romming (Sanmed GmbH, Germany), the IYNC2020 technical-tracks managers and reviewers that have made this special section possible.
Furthermore, we would like to thank the IYNC2020 Executive Committee for all the support and help.