"The secret of success is to know something nobody else knows"

Aristotle Onassis

Meeting: November 12, 2015: Coping with the challenge of security of supply in European nuclear energy: mitigating risk and searching for balanced strategies

This interactive discussion of the Brussels Energy Club addressed the topic of:


"Coping with the challenge of security of supply in European nuclear energy: mitigating risk and searching for balanced strategies"


And took place on Thursday 12 November 2015, 4.30 — 8pm @ TUSIAD Avenue des Gaulois, 13, Brussels 1040


With the following special guest discussions openers:


Tomas VicekDr Tomas Vlcek  

Specialised Researcher in Nuclear Energy and Member of the Academic Association of the Nuclear Education Network of the Czech Republic




Martin JirusekMartin Jirusek

Specialised Researcher and Lecturer, Energy Security, Department of International Relations, Masaryk University, Czech Republic




Hanna VirlanderHanna Virlander

Nuclear Engineering Manager at Fennovoima Oy, Helsinki, Finland





Over the past decade, energy policy circles in Brussels have focused heavily on the security of natural gas supplies from external suppliers while until recently supply security of other fuels comprising the European energy mix have received less attention.  Nuclear energy remains a vital part of Europe's energy supplies and the nuclear power industry now needs to concentrate on implementing strategies for mitigating security of supply risks.

This particularly applies to the trade in nuclear fuel.  Each risk mitigation strategy has costs and benefits. Some utilities choose to have different suppliers at certain stages of the fuel cycle, while others opt for a single supplier for all four stages of the cycle. The nuclear fuels trade remains a very specific component of the wider-European energy trade where associated security of supply related questions remain as topical as ever, including:

  • Will diversification as a generic risk mitigation strategy work and be economic at every stage of the nuclear fuel cycle?
  • Is operation of a mixed core (fuel assemblies fabricated by more than one vendor working in one reactor simultaneously) necessary to ensure diversification? Is it equally safe and economic for each type of reactor, including PWRs?
  • What impact would such diversification have on the bottom-line of the utilities that now use a turn-key fuel cycle solution?
  • Are there other risk mitigation strategies available to utilities and what would be the best approach in relation to the scale of risk?
  • Should EU policy-makers consider introduction of a scheme of reciprocal contingency supply contracts between vendors or encourage non-EU vendors to create fabrication capacities in the EU sufficient to cover utility needs in the event of disruption?   


The members who joined us for this meeting of the Brussels Energy Club on November 12 benefited from expert reflections and open discussion on coping with the challenge of security of supply in the European nuclear energy sector.


Program November 12, 2015: 16.30 — 20.00:

  • Arrival of members and guests leading into welcome cocktail   
  • Welcoming remarks by Dr Bahadir Kaleagasi, Chairman, Brussels Energy Club
  • Setting out the debate by Dr Marat Terterov, Executive Director, Brussels Energy Club
  • Presentations by Tomas Vlcek PhD and Martin Jirusek, Brussels Energy Club External Guest Speakers from the Czech Republic, and by Hanna Virlander from Finland   
  • Reflections and remarks by members and guests of the Brussels Energy Club, leading into Q/A session (NB: all discussions during the session will take place under the Chatham House Rule).
  • Buffet supper reception and networking opportunities with the speakers and other external guests from the nuclear energy sector  


Speaker information

Dr Tomas Vlcek is a specialised researcher at the International Institute of Political Science and lecturer at the Energy Security Program, International Relations and Energy Security Centre at Masaryk University. He is a member of the academic association Czech Nuclear Education Network. His academic interests include the energy security of the Czech Republic and Central and Eastern Europe, especially in relation to the nuclear and electricity sectors.  He wrote his Doctoral dissertation on the Druzhba pipeline and alternatives to Russian crude oil supply for the Czech and Slovak Republics.

Martin Jirusek is a lecturer at the Energy Security Studies Program at the Department of International Relations and European Studies, Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University. He focuses on energy security in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) as well as the transatlantic dimension of energy security. He is widely published and gives regular presentations on the conceptual foundations of energy policy of CEE countries and the EU more broadly, the role of Russia in the natural gas and nuclear sectors in CEE, and the envisaged impact of US energy exports in view of the shale revolution.

Martin Jirusek, together with Tomas Vlcek are presently working on a major research project examining the market position and overall behaviour of Russian national champions Gazprom and Rosatom in Central and Eastern Europe.

Hanna Virlander is a Nuclear Engineering Manager at Fennovoima Oy in Helsinki, Finland as of 2012. She is responsible for the nuclear fuel cycle from procurement to final disposal, including radioactive waste management, nuclear fuel supply contracts, and procurement strategies. She has also been the acting Nuclear Safety Director for Fennovoima. Before this, she managed fuel delivery and fuel licensing projects for AREVA NP GmbH in Germany, and was Head of Reactor Supervision for Teollisuuden Voima Oyj in Finland.


Further information 

Participation in the interactive discussion at TUSIAD venue will be free of charge for members and guests of the Brussels Energy Club. For more information please contact Martin Minarik on industry@brusselsenergyclub.org and/or Ben McPherson on research@brusselsenergyclub.org, or visit the contacts section of our website. 

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