GC Side Event: Networks for Collaboration in Nuclear Education and Training
from where GC Participants in Vienna witnessed live experiments
broadcast via the internet. (Photo: CEA-INSTN)
25 September 2013 - The role of networks in educating and training future nuclear workforce was highlighted at a side event during the IAEA’s General Conference last week. With more than 150 participants, the Networks for Collaboration in Nuclear Education and Training event presented various IAEA initiatives, including a recently-launched interactive e-learning series for nuclear newcomers and a live demonstration of experiments in a research reactor conducted remotely. A common action plan for educational networks from Asia, Latin America, Africa and Europe was also signed.
Held on 18 September, the event emphasized the potential of using innovative technologies as a tool for enhancing nuclear education and training. Presenters shared best practices and pointed at potential areas of cooperation between the industry and academia.
The use of modern technology for training was illustrated by a live demonstration of experiments performed at the ISIS Research Reactor of the CEA-INSTN in Saclay, France, which participates in the IAEA’s Internet Reactor Laboratory (IRL) Project. This project creates virtual access to students in other countries who do not have access to a research reactor, by sending real-time signals and using a video conference link. Students can interact with operators in the control room, and can “conduct experiments” by asking the operators to change reactor settings, thus seeing the real-time output of the reactor change accordingly.
The audience of the side event witnessed two experiments: A reactor start up and stabilization at 50W power level, with the reactor control panel data displayed live to the audience together with the image of the reactor core and control room. The second experiment was a study of the temperature effect with self-stabilization of the reactor at a power of 50 kW. A reactor scram, or rapid shutdown, achieved by inserting all control rods into the reactor core, concluded the demonstration.
An interactive e-learning series explaining the IAEA’s Milestones Approach to introducing a nuclear power programme, created by the IAEA and available for free online, was also presented. Both newcomers and countries expanding their nuclear power programmes may benefit from this e-learning series.
The close cooperation among the industry, academia, and the government as vital players in improving nuclear education and attracting young talents was also discussed. Joint efforts to strengthen the partnership between Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America culminated in the signing of an Action Plan among the three IAEA-founded regional educational networks (AFRA-NEST, ANENT and LANENT) and the European Nuclear Education Network Association (ENEN).
The Networks for Collaboration in Nuclear Education and Training event was organized by the Department of Nuclear Energy and sponsored by ENEN.