Sharing our expertise at the Research Reactor and Fuel Management conference
INS Sales Manager, Andy Gray attended the Research Reactor and Fuel Management (RRFM) conference in Munich. Here he explains the value of participating at the conference…
Since the 2010 conference in Marrakech, INS has been attending the RRFM to help us understand the trends and developments in the markets in which we operate, as well as enabling us to engage directly with existing and potential customers and stakeholders.
The conferences are organised by the European Nuclear Society (ENS) with support from the International Atomic Energy Agency. The ENS is the largest society for nuclear science, research and industry in Europe. Ever since its foundation in 1975, ENS has been promoting the advancement of nuclear science, research and engineering to its members, decision makers and the general public.
ENS has members from 22 countries in Europe and Israel. In addition to the members themselves, another crucial component of the organisation’s make up is the group of around 60 corporate members representing key stakeholders who are partners for nuclear technology and research in Europe.
The conference programme itself typically revolves around a series of plenary speaker sessions that are dedicated to the latest global developments in research reactor technology and management. Key topics focus on highlighting fuel back end issues, research reactor decommissioning, and safety and security issues.
Each conference programme is supported by keynote speakers from the host country who provide valuable insights into the latest developments of that country and any specific projects of interest to the research reactor community. In parallel, additional sessions enable a focus on all other areas that are connected to the fuel cycle of research reactors, their utilisation, operation and management.
Our attendance at RRFM has been a big success story for a number of reasons. Firstly, being able to regularly meet with our existing customers and project stakeholders from all corners of the world provides an invaluable opportunity for face to face interaction, to continually develop and enhance our relationships and for us to understand what is happening in projects or countries where we are not always directly involved.
Secondly, being able to demonstrate our expertise and capabilities enables us to reach out to new customers, or even new markets that we’re not presently operating in.
Finally, whilst the conference is typically attended by members of our in-house sales team, we also use it as an opportunity to bring along other team members from our security, operations and engineering functions. Not only does their attendance give an additional area of expertise to support the meetings and discussions within the conference structure but it also gives a wider perspective of the business development and sales areas to those not directly involved on a day to day basis.
The RRFM and its sister conference the Reduced Enrichment in Research and Test Reactors (RERTR) conference, which is organised and operated by the US Department of Energy, provide a regular platform for industry members and partners to meet and discuss matters of importance, whatever they may be.
The attendees are very much the same within both the RRFM and RERTR functions and given the relatively small operating company base within the nuclear industry, the RRFM has succeeded in creating a very strong ‘research reactor family’ atmosphere.
Many operators, transporters or stakeholders will at some point face similar issues or challenges that others have already successfully overcome. RRFM provides a platform for the attendees to build and develop those relationships to help support each other within our global industry.
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