News Archive


2019 YGN Annual Seminar and Dinner

The 2019 YGN Annual Seminar was held on Thursday 7th November in Bristol at the Bristol Harbour Hotel with 220+ professionals in attendance, representing over 30 companies. After a hugely successful seminar in 2018 themed around the Nuclear Sector Deal, the theme of this year’s seminar was “Transitions”, aimed at exploring the critical changes taking place that will shape the future of the industry following publication of the Nuclear Sector Deal.

The day was opened by the 2019 YGN Chair Mike Roberts, Principal Nuclear Safety Consultant at SNC-Lavalin / Atkins. The keynote address was given by BEIS representatives Chris Bowbrick and Sarah Chatterley, Deputy Director for Nuclear and Site Stakeholder Manager, respectively. Their talk focussed on UK new nuclear and how it will help us in transitioning to net zero carbon emissions.

A sector update was then given by Tom Greatrex, Chief Executive of the NIA, who discussed the NIA’s new campaign “Rediscover Nuclear” and stressed the important role that young people have in communicating the benefits of nuclear technology.

Tom went on to Chair the first panel session of the day, focused on the Nuclear Sector Deal and covering the new build programme, legacy cost reduction and winning UK business. He was joined by a fantastic panel consisting of: Angela Hepworth, Policy and Regulation Director, EDF; Val Drake, Waste Strategy Director, Cavendish Nuclear; Jay Shaw, Programme Director, NAMRC; Jay Bhart, Strategic Relationships and Business Development Director, Cavendish Nuclear; and Chris Bowbrick.

Following lunch, the afternoon session was kicked off by Professor John Fyfe, YGN Patron, who remarked that every person is an ambassador for the nuclear sector and it is important to communicate the benefits to persons outside the industry. Winner of the YGN National Speaking Competition, Victoria Dingwall of EDF Energy, then presented on the contribution of diversity and inclusion to a healthy safety culture, noting that more diverse and inclusive teams can lead to safety improvements through new ideas, suggested improvements and flagging of errors.

The next portion of the afternoon focused on transitions at Sellafield. Chief Operating Officer of Sellafield Ltd, Rebecca Weston, spoke about Sellafield’s mission change due to the end of reprocessing and a focus on hazard reduction and remediation. An overview of Programme and Project Partners (PPP), a model for the delivery of all future major projects at Sellafield, was then given by PPP representative, Alistair Dickinson. These presentations were followed by a panel session with Rebecca, Alastair and PPP representative, Mike Pigott which was chaired by Grace Frost, Project Manager at Sellafield.

Next up was Lucy Austin, One NDA Manager who spoke about One NDA’s mission to clean up the UK’s earliest nuclear sites safety, securely and more creatively. Bryan Harding, Portfolio Delivery Oversight Manager at EDF Energy then presented on the transition of the Advanced Gas-cooled Reactor (AGR) fleet to decommissioning and the ambitious defueling preparation programme at EDF Energy. Last to speak at the seminar was Beccy Pleasant, Nuclear Skills Lead of the NSSG, who spoke about the challenges NSSG face in meeting the targets set out in the Nuclear Sector Deal. Beccy invited the audience to help deliver the message of the NSSG by applying to be the Next Generation Shadow Theme Owner under the Nuclear Sector Deal People Stream.

With the seminar closed, the dinner was kicked off at the award-winning science and discovery centre, “We The Curious”. The 250+ guests were able to interact with science exhibits during the drinks reception, sponsored by Abbott Risk Consulting, while the dinner was decorated with a range of conical flasks, test tubes and elements from the periodic table. The evening keynote speech was given by Benoit Blassel, Operations Direction and Nicholas Morris, Project Engineer, both of Platinum Sponsor Assystem, echoing the sentiments from the seminar about the young generation being key ambassadors for the nuclear sector. A charity raffle was also held for local charity, Off the Record, who provide mental health support to young people aged 11-25. Thank you to our guests who helped raise a whopping £1300 for the charity. Congratulations also go to Stacy Snook, Sellafield Graduate, who was announced winner of the YGN Excellence Prize.

The YGN Annual Seminar and Dinner simply could not run without its sponsors so the YGN would like to thank the following:

  • Assystem (Platinum sponsor)
  • MEH Alliance (Gold sponsor)
  • Abbott Risk Consulting (Champagne sponsor)
  • Cavendish Nuclear (Lunch sponsor)
  • Sellafield Ltd (AV sponsor)
  • DBD International, Nuclear AMRC, SNC-Lavalin Atkins and Westinghouse (Silver sponsors)

  YGN19Brstl-99 (1)             YGN19Brstl-327 (002)             YGN19Brstl-58 

If you would like to find out more about this event, learn more about the YGN or be added to our monthly newsletter, please email