Technical Meeting on Digital Applications to Support Nuclear Knowledge Management Programmes

25 – 28 Jun 2019
Beijing, China
Event code: EVT1805539

Nuclear industries have some of the most technologically advanced projects in the energy industry. Yet, perceptions of digitalization are somewhat distorted. Automation may provide a solution to one of the biggest problems facing the sector: an ageing workforce. Professionals and hiring managers are far more concerned about skills shortages than any other sector. The ageing workforce could cause trouble for nuclear businesses if they fail to recruit enough new members of staff to cover all the work that needs doing. Automating operational processes can help to provide coverage in areas where human oversight or knowledge is not as critical. However, hiring managers need to be aware of the operational benefits.

The ageing workforce was ranked as the greatest challenge among nuclear workers. In addition, the nuclear sector was the only sector where the majority of workers were concerned about the impact of an impending skills gap. This is putting pressure on hiring managers, who are more likely than their peers to rate the ageing workforce, skills gap and recruiting and retaining talent as impending challenges.

While younger people may be sceptical of nuclear power, the attitude inside the sector could not be more different. Younger consumers oppose the nuclear industry and consider it to be outdated. For this reason, many people are quick to believe that nuclear technology is also outdated. Nuclear workers aged between 25 and 34 were very enthusiastic. For years, the nuclear industry has excelled at combining skilled individuals with cutting-edge technology to generate exciting projects. Digitalization adds to the precise knowledge set that nuclear workers possess and helps them with their work.

Nuclear hiring managers were much less likely than their peers across the energy industry to view increased productivity and efficiency, and reduced costs as benefits of digitalization. Nuclear owner/operators are coming under financial strain. Reducing costs will become even more important for companies. In slight contrast to hiring managers, nuclear professionals rated efficiency and productivity as the top benefits of automation and digitalization. Flexible hours and remote working also ranked highly.

Digitalization is not only reshaping how the energy industry functions, but is also causing companies to think differently about how they organize their workforce. Sectors are having to adapt their recruitment approaches to enhance their appeal, due to the increasing importance placed on technological talent.

Cybersecurity skills are considered the most important general skills required to accommodate digitalization. These skills were cited as some of the most in demand by nearly three quarters of hiring managers, which is far higher than the industry average. As nuclear facilities remain high on the list of cyberterrorism targets, these skills will remain important.

Additionally, younger professionals see a growing need for the skills associated with more innovative technologies, namely data analytics and cloud technology. Workers between the ages of 25 and 44 were more likely than hiring managers to cite this demand.

Objectives

The purpose of the meeting is to explore and provide practical guidance on various aspects of recent nuclear power plant construction projects, and to share good practices among the participating Member States. It will highlight the importance of having appropriate project management strategies, particularly taking into consideration the various organizational arrangements that exist in different construction and operating organizations and countries.

Specifically, the meeting will aim to:

  • Share experiences and lessons learned in addressing challenges and opportunities associated with IT digital applications to support nuclear knowledge management; and
  • Collect information from Member States for use in developing a draft IAEA technical document on IT digital applications to support nuclear knowledge management, in reflecting changes to industry structure and markets, and in focusing on strategies and solutions to avoid construction risks.

Topics

The meeting will include presentations by participants from Member States, international organizations and the IAEA Secretariat. Presentations will be given on experiences and lessons learned in relation to IT digital applications to support nuclear knowledge management and also on the following topics:

  • Understanding how to plan and improve the digitalization strategy;
  • Industry recap and digitalization business case development;
  • Establishing a clear methodology for the implementation of a defence in depth protective strategy;
  • Digital communication systems;
  • The potential of new interfaces and control models, and how to optimize human interaction with digital platforms;
  • Obtaining and managing big data for analytics and transformation;
  • Exploring data and disruption for nuclear plant operators;
  • How are data and digitalization shaping company strategy across the nuclear industry;
  • Potential digital technology available and using it to transform businesses;
  • Data to enhance predictive analytics and new opportunities; and
  • Recommended good practices.

Target Audience

The meeting is targeted at Member State representatives who are involved in IT digital applications to support nuclear knowledge management. These might include individuals who deal with managing, overseeing, regulating, designing, financing, and ensuring nuclear knowledge management.

Meeting Location

The meeting will be held in Beijing, China, from Tuesday, 25 June 2019 to Friday, 28 June 2019.

Resources

  1. Employment
  2. Women
  3. Press

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