Training a New Generation of Nuclear Managers
26 June 2012 - In the environment in which nuclear power plant managers find themselves today, there is an ever increasing emphasis on safe, efficient and effective plant operation.
The pace of change in the nuclear power industry has increased greatly in recent years and is likely to remain at a high rate for the foreseeable future. Issues such as competing in open energy markets, increasing economic pressures, and maintaining high safety standards have made new demands on managers of nuclear power plants at all levels, and will probably continue to do so in the future.
Managers are expected to maintain high levels of nuclear safety and at the same time be more efficient to reduce their cost of production. Such circumstances emphasise the need to ensure managers can access the necessary training to succeed in such a demanding environment.
Training Nuclear Managers from Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant
A four-year project, in which a management training programme for managers of the Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran was developed and implemented, was successfully completed in 2012.
The project was managed by the IAEA through its TC mechanism (IRA/4015) and was executed by an international consortium headed by the All-Russian Research Institute for Nuclear Power Plant Operation (VNIIAES). Technical supervision of the project was provided by the Nuclear Power Engineering Section, Department of Nuclear Energy.
During the first stage of the project, the project team identified the overall training needs to develop management competences for the selected top and middle-level managers and supervisors at both the nuclear power plant and corporate headquarters and developed, implemented and evaluated a pilot training for the selected positions.
In the second stage of the project, based on the pilot feedback, a broader range training programmes were developed to cover all levels of managers and supervisors.
The developed training material, evaluated by IAEA staff and experts, includes training programme descriptions, instructor and trainee materials and a guide on the selection, training, development and assessment of managers ― based on existing IAEA guidance - covering 70 lessons available in English and Russian.
As a result, 54 senior and middle-level managers have received a comprehensive initial training which covers topical issues such as:
- strategic management
- improving business performance
- improving manager performance
- operating experience for better performance
- concept of safety management
- safety culture and effective safety management
- risk management
- emergency management
- management systems
- effective communications
Developing NPP managers is an important element of the infrastructure development for a national nuclear power programme towards responsible and sustainable use of nuclear technology. This project has been an important part of the IAEA services on “Developing Infrastructure for New Nuclear Power Programmes”, and has provided valuable lessons for potential future projects in this field.