Abril Amaya, an Argentinian student in her 3rd year of a double-degree programme in the nuclear sector at IMT Atlantique, and her team represented France at the I4N international nuclear innovation competition at the International Youth Nuclear Congress - IYNC 2022 - in Koriyama, Japan, with the Navigatom project. Despite some tough competition, they were announced as overall winners!
Abril Amaya, a student at the University of Buenos Aires, follows the DEMIN in-depth study theme (Development and Management of Nuclear Facilities) at IMT Atlantique. "I want to offer my skills to the French nuclear industry to contribute to the environmental and social challenges of the 21st century," explains Abril, who has done internships at EDF, and notably at the Bugey nuclear power plant.
The story began in May 2022, when Abril and her team took part in Innovatome, a French innovation competition for the nuclear industry that is open to all students and young professionals. It is organised by the Young Generation group of the French Nuclear Energy Society (SFEN JG) with partners Orano, Edvance, OARIRDGE, ANDRA, Assystem, CEA, EDF, DAHER.
"There are five of us in the team*: two students from Mines St Etienne, a PhD student from INSA Lyon, an engineer from Orano, and myself. Our project aims to contribute to the decarbonisation of the merchant navy by anticipating the arrival of nuclear cargo ships in ports.
Thibault Rozalen, Abril Amaya and Amaratou Saley at the final in Japan.
Abril was a Innovatome finalist in October 2022, during the 'Atoms for the future' event, whose theme this year was "The atom at the heart of energy recovery". Abril then found herself representing France at I4N, the international innovation competition for the nuclear industry, during the IYNC (International Youth Nuclear Congress) conference, with the support of IMT Atlantique's head of studies, and the department of development and corporate relations, as well as the Fondation Mines-Telecom.
Port infrastructures designed for nuclear-powered cargo ships
Their project is original in that it consists of preparing for the arrival of nuclear cargo ships by equipping ports with the necessary infrastructure. The aim is to promote the decarbonisation of the merchant navy, bearing in mind that 17% of global CO2 emissions in 2050 will be linked to maritime transport. Navigatom of course forecasts the constant increase in the cost of fossil fuels and the complexity of accessing low carbon energy. The project aims to ensure both states and local stakeholders are aware of the needs in terms of infrastructure for accommodating nuclear-powered cargo ships in existing ports. It promotes technical solutions that respect the safety regulations and other legislation relating to storage of nuclear materials.
Through Navigatom, the I4N 2022 experts have rewarded an innovative initiative that contributes to the United Nations' sustainable development goals.
*The other team members on this project are:
- Amaratou Saley, Data Science Manager at INEO NUCLEAIRE- ENGIE group, PhD student at INSA Lyon
- Thibault Rozalen, nuclear safety engineer at Orano
- Laura Bocquet, apprentice engineer in charge of nuclear materials at EDF- Mines-Saint Etienne
- Nathan Ribayrol, apprentice process engineer at EDF - Mines-Saint Etienne
by Pierre-Hervé VAILLANT