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Secretariat of the European Sustainable Nuclear Energy Technology Platform

Periodic Report Summary - SNE-TP OFFICE (Secretariat of the European sustainable nuclear energy technology platform)

Project context and objectives:

The 'Sustainable nuclear energy technology platform' (SNETP) is a European technology platform launched on 21 September 2007, with 35 European organisations endorsing its vision report.

Since then, is governance was set up, and working groups were constituted. In 2010, the platform's operational model was re-thought, and new (technology) working groups were constituted.

By the end of May 2011 the platform consists of 97 members, representing research organisations, industry, technical safety organisations, universities, non-governmental organisations, and other private or public entities.

SNETP office is a support action designed to establish a professional secretariat to support SNETP.

As a centralised entry point for SNETP, the secretariat provides logistical and secretarial support to the activities of the platform and of its working groups. In particular, the secretariat ensures:

- the set-up and operation of a dedicated office;
- the maintenance and continuous management of the SNETP public and private websites;
- the professional publication and distribution of documents produced by the working groups;
- the organisation of all meetings of the platform bodies (management bodies and working groups), including general assemblies;
- the creation of communication material;
- the participation of the SNETP in selected international events; and
- day-to-day secretarial duties.

The objectives of SNETP office are defined as follows:

- Efficiency: provide logistical support to ensure that the activities of the SNETP groups are most efficient.
- Reactivity: ensure a centralised permanent contact point for the platform, in order to provide reactive answers to all stakeholders and any interested third parties.
- Impact: ensure maximum impact and dissemination of the activities of the SNETP and of its working groups.
- Visibility: ensure international visibility of the platform, through a client-based management of the public website, and participation in major international events.

Initially planned for 2 years, SNETP office duration has been extended by half a year, from 1 December 2008 to 31 May 2011 (the requested EC contribution was unchanged).

Project results:

Following the publication of the 'Vision' report in 2007 and the Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) in June 2009, the second reporting period saw the release of two additional strategic documents: The Deployment strategy (DS) was officially released in May 2010, in connection to the ENC-2010 conference, in Barcelona, and the report on 'Education, training and knowledge management' was published in December 2010. The achievement on these publications was made possible thanks to input from dedicated SNETP working groups, followed by internal and sometimes also external consultations.

Having thus defined the European nuclear research and development (R&D) stakeholders strategy, the SNETP needed to set-up a new operational model, focusing on the coordination of the implementation of this strategy. The secretariat worked on the preparation and set-up of this new operational model together with members of the platform's management bodies, and the new model was formally adopted by the SNETP governing board in November 2009.

This change was accompanied by a restructuration at the working group level, with new technology working groups being set up, while the old (strategy) working groups were put on hold until further necessity to reactivate the working groups on SRA for possible updates or annexes preparation, WG on DS for possible updates.

The end of 2010 saw the achievement of another major SNETP milestone: the launch of its first 'European industrial' initiative under the Strategic energy technology (SET-Plan): the 'European sustainable nuclear industrial' (ESNII) initiative on Gen IV fast neutron reactors with closed fuel cycles ? at the high-level conference on the SET-Plan organised by the Belgian EU Presidency in Brussels, accompanied by the release of the ESNII concept paper and implementation plan. This was possible thanks to work performed in the ESNII task force dedicated to fast-neutron reactor technologies.

By the end of May 2011, the SNETP counts three active working groups: ESNII task force, working group on GEN II / III reactor technologies and working group on ETKM. Moreover, preparatory work has been started by the working group on nuclear cogeneration which was formally launched in June 2011.

Potential impact:

The expected impact of the SNETP office project is to ensure an efficient outcome of the process initiated when SNETP was launched: to federate European stakeholders in order to define a common vision and strategy for the development of nuclear fission in Europe. This objective has since the launch of the platform acquired another dimension, as the EU's SET-Plan has significantly increased the focus given by Europe on low-carbon energy technologies, and nuclear fission in particular. The expected impact of the platform is thus to contribute, at its working level, to the ambitious objectives of 2020 and vision for 2050.

The launch of the 'European industrial' initiative on Gen IV fast neutron reactors with closed fuel cycles (ESNII) in 2010 is one of the milestones towards this goal.

In addition to its main objective which is to facilitate the platform operations, another objective of SNETP office is to promote the platform in the European and international environment. The SNETP public communication strategy, including participation in major events and dissemination of strategy papers and communication material, supports this objective.

Although addressing public acceptance with regards to nuclear energy is not in the scope of SNETP (but rather of ENEF), the involvement of various types of stakeholders in the platform, including representatives of non-governmental organisations, allows fostering some interaction with the civil society.

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