Johannesburg - Approximately 100 nuclear scientists from around the world will be gathering at the Skukuza rest camp in the Kruger National Park next week for a specialist nuclear conference aimed at discovering how to look inside metals to determine their structure, using nuclear particle beams.

In a statement on Thursday, The South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) said that the discussion was important because it would allow them to be able to design and construct high precision and high integrity nuclear reactor components.

The Conference has been called MECA SENS 2017, and will be hosted by Dr Andrew Venter of Necsa who is a specialist in this field. 

Notable foreign speaker who will be attending the conference include Professor Philip Withers, Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and Regius professor, School of Materials University of Manchester, from the United Kingdom and Professor Andrzej Baczmański, Faculty of Physics and Applied Computer Science, AGH ‒ University of Science and Technology, from Kraków in Poland.

When asked about whether the conference would cause any disturbance to the animals that reside around the Skukuza rest camp inside the Kruger National Park, spokesperson Ike Phaahla said, "The numbers of delegates are tightly controlled so there won't be any disturbance." 

"We have conference centres in the various camps away from the actual habitat of animals but next to where visitors stay overnight." 

Necsa said that the specialists would spend a week in South Africa, which included a tour to the SAFARI-1 nuclear reactor at the Pelindaba site of Necsa.

"The Conference will be officially opened by Dr Kelvin Kemm the Chairman of Necsa. The foreign quests will have the unique experience of being treated to a game drive, which is certainly not the norm for nuclear physics conferences internationally.  Another unique experience will be an outdoor braai," Necsa said.