Panel session regarding the HBO “Chernobyl” miniseries

On April 26, 1986, the Chernobyl nuclear power plant near Pripyat, Ukraine, experienced a malfunction which resulted in a core explosion in reactor 4. This HBO Chernobyl series follows Valery Legasov, the lead scientist working to control the disaster, Boris Shcherbina, a Soviet politician representing the interests of the Soviet government during the disaster, and Ulana Khomyuk, a nuclear physicist working to uncover the truth about what really happened at Chernobyl. This series in 5 episodes tell the stories of the men and women, who tried to contain the disaster, as well as those who gave their lives. Given the critical acclaim and the success of this series, the BNS has decided to organize a panel session to discuss some events highlighted in it. The aim is to discuss certain phases of the accident as portrayed in the series, from a Scientific and Technical perspective, with the support of five panelists, each of them being specialist in a different field.

Transcript of the discussions and debates

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Sep 26, 2019


6:30 pm - 9:00 pm


Engie Tower
Boulevard Simon Bolivar 34-36, 1000 Brussels


  • Bart Volbrecht
    Fleet Ageing Manager at Engie Electrabel

    Bart Volbrecht graduated in Electrical Engineering from VUB in 1989, obtained a master in Nuclear Engineering from U Gent in 1995, and in Safety Engineering from VUB in 1999.

    He today works at Engie Electrabel as Fleet Ageing Manager, and formerly occupied the position of Transition Manager, preparing the Belgian Nuclear Fleet for the period beyond 2025, being lifetime extension or decommissioning. He had previously various field experiences at Doel NPP, notably as manager for Safety, Health and Environment, but also at WANO and Nugeneration Ltd UK.

  • Christian Vandecasteele
    Expert in Emergency Planning and Environmental Measurements at FANC

    Christian Vandecasteele is currently working at the Federal Agency for Nuclear Control (FANC) where he is strongly involved in Emergency Planning and Environmental Measurements. Before Christian has worked at the Belgian Research Center (SCK-CEN) on Radio-ecology, a field of radioprotection studying the ecological effects of contamination. He has published several articles on the subject for which he has performed measurements in the exclusion zone relatively shortly following the accident.

  • Dina Notte
    Human Factors Expert for European Commission, US NRC and IAEA

    Dina Notte has an industrial psychologist and ergonomist education. She founded ERGODIN consulting and has worked for 35 years in the design of computerized control rooms and Human Machine Interface in high-risk industrial processes.

    She is member of HFES Society since 1985. She is a Human Factors expert for European Commission DG III, XII and XIII, for the US NRC and IAEA. She has been general secretary of the French Ergonomic Society for six years and is Certified European Ergonomist since 1995.

  • Hans Vanmarcke
    Manager of the expert group Interdisciplinary Biosciences at SCK•CEN

    Prof. Hans Vanmarcke studied Physics and Computer Science at U Gent, where he also obtained his PhD degree in Physics in 1987. Since 1989, he has been working at SCK•CEN, where he today oversees the expert group Interdisciplinary Biosciences (BIO) consisting of the units Radiobiology, Microbiology and Biosphere Impact Studies.

    He is Visiting Professor at the University of Leuven and served as President of the Belgian Society for Radiation Protection from 1999 to 2000. He is also an expert of the Belgian Superior Health Council and a member of FANC’s Scientific Council. He joined the Belgian delegation to the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) in 1996 and serves as representative of Belgium since 2008. He was elected Vice-Chair of UNSCEAR in 2015 and served as Chair of that committee from January 2017 to June 2019.

  • Nicolas Castin
    Expert in material sciences at SCK•CEN

    Nicolas Castin graduated from BNEN in 2006 and then obtained a PhD in 2011 (ULB – SCK•CEN collaboration). He today works at SCK•CEN, as expert in material sciences, especially regarding simulation of radiation effects in structure materials (microstructure of steels for fission reactors; tungsten degradation in nuclear fusion applications), for which he participated to several European research projects.

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