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North American Young Generation in Nuclear

North American Young Generation in Nuclear

Overview

NAYGN was founded in 1999 and is a non-profit organization which provides opportunities for a young generation of nuclear enthusiasts to develop leadership and professional skills, create life-long connections, engage and inform the public, and inspire today’s nuclear technology professionals to meet the challenges of the 21st century. NAYGN has 77 active chapters in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico and the 5,000+ members contribute over 90,000 hours annually for activities that support the organization’s vision and mission.

In our biennial career survey which is sent to all NAYGN members across North America, respondents were asked what nuclear technology they think is the most impactful. SMRs ranked as the second highest option out of the six choices (extending the life of existing plants ranked as the highest). Furthermore, when the data is broken down by job role students voted SMRs as the most impactful nuclear technology choice from the list showing great promise for the future favourability of SMRs. In the survey respondents were also asked for the regional and community support for the nuclear industry with six choices ranging from very negative to very positive. The Canadian data was almost double the “very positive” rate seen in the United States and highest in the positive response as well. Furthermore, comparing the 2018 report shows that there was an increase in positive support and a decrease in negative support in the 2020 data which points for gaining momentum of support. These responses clearly demonstrate that SMRs are important to our members and show that Canada is an ideal country to start making the SMR roadmap into a concrete action plan.

Since the Generation Energy submission from NAYGN in 2018 our organization was elated to see the transition to a Small Modular Reactor Roadmap and now a concrete action plan. NAYGN supports the development of SMRs as SMRs will allow for a greater deployment of low-carbon reliable energy sources to help reduce emissions, reduce pollution, and reduce energy poverty. We look forward to expanding nuclear generation to the provinces and territories in Canada as well as exporting them to countries around the world. As a non-profit youth organization we see our role to help spread awareness to young professionals and students still in school; we want to share our passion and vision for the future. We have a membership that is zealous about the role nuclear can play in climate change and for the environment which will advocate, lobby, and rally to ensure politicians and members of the public can hear their voice. We are NAYGN and we will respond to the SMR Call to Action!

Actions

POLICY, LEGISLATION, AND REGULATION
Nuclear energy in climate change and clean energy planning
STATUS: IN PROGRESS
NAY01

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 18

ACTION

Endorse and advocate for the approval of public policy statements that explicitly include nuclear energy in climate change and clean energy planning and policies.

  • Have members participate in nuclear hill days (advocating for nuclear with politicians in Ottawa & Toronto)
  • Have members continue to write letters to their MPPs
  • Continue to have members send postcards to politicians via postcard push day or similar activity
  • Utilize NAYGN newsletters and social media channels to spread awareness of public policy statements

EXPECTED RESULTS

Ensuring that climate change and clean energy policies are aligned with, and support, the development of innovative, low-carbon nuclear energy technologies across all interested provinces and territories in Canada.

POLICY, LEGISLATION, AND REGULATION
Nuclear energy in climate change and clean energy planning
STATUS: IN PROGRESS
NAY02

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 33

ACTION

NAYGN to increase its outreach to other clean energy industry associations and organizations, ensuring appropriate representation of nuclear energy in broader clean energy dialogues.

  • Have NAYGN representation on the Young Energy Professionals program in the Energy Council of Canada
  • Collaborate with Electricity Human Resources Canada
  • Work with other youth organizations (i.e. Student Energy)

EXPECTED RESULTS

Increased awareness of the role of nuclear energy in Canada’s clean energy mix.

CAPACITY, ENGAGEMENT, AND PUBLIC CONFIDENCE
Public and Indigenous views
STATUS: COMPLETE
NAY03

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 12

ACTION

Survey members in Canada on all potential energy options, including nuclear energy and SMRs. Promote existing surveys to members to increase knowledge of the sector.

EXPECTED RESULTS

Clear and reliable information on public views with respect to nuclear energy.

CAPACITY, ENGAGEMENT, AND PUBLIC CONFIDENCE
Grade school and high school programming
STATUS: IN PROGRESS
NAY04

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 21

ACTION

Continue to have members visit grade school and high schools to educate students about non-emitting energy sources utilizing NAYGN drawing contests, NAYGN high school essay contests, NAYGN Children’s books (George’s Energy Adventure and Marie’s Electric Adventure), and presentations.

EXPECTED RESULTS

Increased access to evidence-based information about all of Canada’s non-emitting energy options.

CAPACITY, ENGAGEMENT, AND PUBLIC CONFIDENCE
Public and community engagement in used fuel from SMRs
STATUS: IN PROGRESS
NAY05

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 31

ACTION

NAYGN to continue to work with NWMO and remote communities on engagement in Canada’s approach to the safe and long-term disposal of used fuel – including used fuel from SMRs.

  • Engage with remote community members at conferences, information sessions, and public hearings

EXPECTED RESULTS

  • Stakeholders continue to have full information and active engagement in Canada’s approach to used fuel disposal.
  • Having the message delivered by a non-profit youth organization permeates trust and opens dialogue channels.
CAPACITY, ENGAGEMENT, AND PUBLIC CONFIDENCE
Engagement with the regulator
STATUS: IN PROGRESS
NAY06

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 24, 44

ACTION

Submit public hearing interventions for nuclear SMRs on behalf of NAYGN members.

EXPECTED RESULTS

Providing the CNSC with the opinion and recommendations of young professionals during the licensing process.

CAPACITY, ENGAGEMENT, AND PUBLIC CONFIDENCE
Diversity of next-generation nuclear talent
STATUS: IN PROGRESS
NAY07

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 39, 49

ACTION

Promote and increase representation of women, youth, minorities, and Indigenous persons in the talent pipeline for the SMR workforce of the future.

  • Engage with students in schools to promote diversity and equal opportunities in the nuclear sector
  • Partner and collaborate with organizations such as Women in Nuclear (WIN) and Electricity Human Resources Canada (EHRC)
  • Create an NAYGN Diversity and Inclusion statement and committee
  • Participate in “Equal by 30” under the Clean Energy Ministerial, and other initiatives to promote a diverse and inclusive workforce.

EXPECTED RESULTS

  • Enrollment by women, minorities, and Indigenous persons in university and college programs in nuclear energy is increased.
  • The nuclear sector in Canada is able to draw from a diverse pool of highly skilled professionals that is fully representative of women, youth, minorities, and Indigenous persons.
CAPACITY, ENGAGEMENT, AND PUBLIC CONFIDENCE
Dissemination of nuclear energy information to non-nuclear audiences
STATUS: IN PROGRESS
NAY08

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 50

ACTION

Continue dissemination of nuclear energy information to non-nuclear audiences

  • Participate in public rallies (i.e. Stand up for Nuclear)
  • Continue to have members visit grade school and high schools to educate students about nuclear energy
  • Utilize social media channels (Youtube, TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook) to spread nuclear information
  • Host lunch and learns, facility tours and other professional development events
  • Participate in community events to have NAYGN members interact with non-nuclear audiences (i.e. Habitat for Humanity, charity fundraisers, etc.)

EXPECTED RESULTS

The public has a better understanding of the diversity and breadth of the nuclear sector, the people who work in it, and their passion, using nuclear science and technology, to improve the health, safety, and well-being of Canadians and their environment.

INTERNATIONAL PARTNERSHIPS AND MARKETS
International collaboration
STATUS: IN PROGRESS
NAY09

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 25

ACTION

Continue to partner with and collaborate with international civil societies (American Nuclear Society, Energy for Humanity, International Youth Nuclear Congress, Generation Atomic, Nuclear Energy Institute, Women in Nuclear, etc.)

EXPECTED RESULTS

Greater awareness of the SMR market internationally as well as leveraging and promoting the Canadian SMR field.

INTERNATIONAL PARTNERSHIPS AND MARKETS
Promoting industry leadership on the global stage
STATUS: IN PROGRESS
NAY10

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 34

ACTION

NAYGN to continue to support industry participation in a Team Canada approach to international conferences and multilateral initiatives, with an emphasis on nuclear innovation and SMRs:

  • Continue to participate in the Nuclear Innovation: Clean Energy Future (NICE Future) initiative under the Clean Energy Ministerial.
  • Participate and engage at the United Nations Conference of Parties (COP) conferences.

EXPECTED RESULTS

Canada presents a unified and coordinated approach internationally, showcasing the full breadth of the sector and leadership in nuclear innovation.