Young Professionals in Nuclear Power Look Forward
12 Mar, 2012
[Approx. Read Time: 2 minutes]
One year ago today, the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami struck Japan. The tragic event resulted in 15,850 deaths, over 6000 injuries, more than 3000 missing and countless billions in property damage. While this disaster weighed heavily upon the heart of so many, it particularly resonates with those of us in the nuclear industry. As we know, the tsunami challenged many of Japan’s nuclear power plants and precipitated a series of events leading to significant damage of the Fukushima Dai-ichi site.
The leadership of the U.S. nuclear power industry has developed a steering committee to oversee the implementation of lessons learned from Fukushima. Concurrently, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the U.S. government oversight agency, has engaged in rigorous evaluations of the U.S. fleet of plants as well as an action plan for adding additional layers of safety precautions across the board. The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission has completed the Fukushima Task Force Report that confirms the safety of Canadian nuclear power plants as well as providing recommendations to further enhance safety in response to this event. The global nuclear power community is unified in the continual effort to share lessons learned. As the next generation of leaders in the nuclear power industry, NA-YGN is committed to our shared goal of ensuring the events at Fukushima are not repeated in our future or in our children’s future.
North American Young Generation in Nuclear (NA-YGN) has spent the past year working to learn from the events in Japan. Since March of 2011, NA-YGN has coordinated webinars and held numerous professional development sessions to educate young professionals about the events at Fukushima. Our members reached out to speak with the public about the events at Fukushima: from our 4th and 5th grade drawing contest presentations all the way to Hill Day meetings with policymakers at the U.S. Capitol and Canadian Parliament. NA-YGN will continue to promote similar activities in the coming year and maintain a leadership role in ensuring safety and security within our industry.
On this day, I ask each of you to keep in your thoughts and prayers the people of Japan who have lost so much. We should also reflect upon what each of us as an individual can do in this next year to engage the public in intelligent discourse about the events at the Fukushima Dai-ichi site and the commitment our industry has for a safe future. It will only be through respectful dialogue and a continued commitment to safe operation that we will be able to reinvigorate the public faith in nuclear science and technology. The Japanese people have already demonstrated the strength and resilience to rebuild. Let us take their example as an inspiration for our own efforts looking forward as young professionals in nuclear.
President, North American – Young Generation in Nuclear
NA-YGN serves as the largest grassroots organization in the world for young professionals in nuclear science and technology. For more information, visit us at www.na-ygn.org.