Innovative Training for Russian Students on Nuclear Energy Sustainability


Students of INPE-MePhI attending an INPRO Online Lecture. (Photo: INPE)

2014-04-25│During the Spring Semester 2014, the INPRO Section provided online training sessions for students and faculty members of the Obninsk Institute for Nuclear Power Engineering (INPE) of the National Research Nuclear University (MEPhI), Russian Federation.

“We held five lectures and conducted three workshops between January and April 2014”, said Vladimir Kuznetsov, who was one of three lecturers from the INPRO Section. “We focused on the analysis and assessment of the sustainability of nuclear energy systems and delivered the lectures and workshops in Russian language”.

This activity was organized within the framework of a Practical Arrangement on education and training in the nuclear field, signed by the IAEA and MEPhI during the 56th IAEA General Conference in September 2012.

The purpose of this innovative training was to familiarize groups of undergraduate, graduate and PhD students as well as teaching and research staff of INPE with INPRO’s activities. The lectures covered (1) an overview of INPRO’s activities; (2) nuclear energy system analysis using the INPRO/GAINS analytical framework; and (3) findings of INPRO activities on small modular reactors, including transportable nuclear power plants.

“We have used WebEx, a web conferencing service, to communicate with the audience in Obninsk”, explained Galina Fesenko, who also delivered some of the lectures. “This proved to be an easy, efficient and effective way for providing the lectures and holding workshops”.

The lectures on the INPRO/GAINS analytical framework presented the studies of the INPRO Collaborative Project GAINS (Global Architecture of Innovative Nuclear Energy Systems). The GAINS project developed a framework for the analysis and assessment of transition scenarios to future sustainable nuclear energy systems and suggested a sustainable global architecture for innovative nuclear energy systems. The GAINS framework includes a heterogeneous world model which takes into account differences in countries’ policies regarding the nuclear fuel cycle and enables defining attractive solutions for collaboration among technology holders and users on the nuclear fuel cycle that would facilitate a transition to regionally or globally sustainable NES. Several scenarios were analysed including a dynamic transition from the existing fleet of reactors and nuclear fuel cycles to a future sustainable NES.

The lecture series was well received by all participants. “Other Member States, such as, for example, Armenia, have already requested similar training activities in their countries”, said Ms Fesenko.

The course can support capacity building and national human resource development in the nuclear energy sector. “A benefit of this training course is that it is not only targeted to students, but also to lecturers of technical and nuclear universities”, added Alexey Grigoriev, who presented some of the lectures. “Also, young professionals working at nuclear energy departments, electric utilities, energy ministries and R&D institutions can participate in such training and benefit from it”.

Educating lecturers, students and young professionals in IAEA Member States on the INPRO Methodology, the INPRO/GAINS framework and other relevant activities will help to improve Member States’ abilities to take knowledgeable and responsible long term decisions with respect to sustainable nuclear power development.

Institutions in Member States interested in arranging similar training activities should contact the INPRO Section at: [email protected]