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Advancing Education on Nuclear Knowledge Management


Young nuclear professionals during a lecture at the ICTP-IAEA Joint Nuclear Knowledge Management School in Trieste. (Photo: M. Urso/IAEA)

Education and training are necessary to ensure that the next generation of nuclear industry professionals are prepared to manage complex nuclear power programmes. As part of these efforts to build competencies in nuclear knowledge management (NKM), the IAEA hosted an NKM School from 11 to 15 September at the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Trieste, Italy. 

Building on the success of previous years’ trainings, the NKM School in Trieste brought together 60 young professionals from nuclear science and technology organizations from 30 Member States. Maintaining a good gender balance, 43% of this year’s participants were female nuclear professionals.

The week-long comprehensive course provided both online specialized training and hands on activities on the development and implementation of knowledge management  programmes. Through featured case studies and mentored group projects, participants learned practical techniques, including IT solutions for knowledge preservation and sharing. 

“The NKM School programme is well tailored to address critical issues in the nuclear sector related to strategic planning for human resource management and development, education and training, as well as knowledge management issues that affect power and non-power applications of nuclear energy,” said Arinze Uchechukwu from the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NNRA).

Lucas Salvi Antonelli from Nucleoeléctrica Argentina SA, emphasized that, for him, the most important element of the school was the experiences of different countries in developing strategies to retain critical knowledge and skilled human resources.

“Although we come from countries with different infrastructures, both with existing nuclear power plants or new-builds, it is important that we share our experiences as we face similar challenges and issues in establishing comprehensive knowledge management mechanisms,” he added.

The School is delivered in a ‘blended learning’ format combining an online digital component with traditional classroom methods. The online self-learning phase introduced basic concepts and provided common understanding of knowledge management theory and framework, which made the face-to-face activities more effective during the intensive week programme. Through the IAEA Technical Cooperation mechanism for transferring nuclear technology and knowledge to IAEA Member States, the NKM School was able this year to train more participants from developing countries.

The NKM School programme is well tailored to address critical issues ... that affect power and non-power applications of nuclear energy.
Arinze Uchechukwu, Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NNRA)

About the ICTP-IAEA NKM School 

Jointly organized by the IAEA and the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) since 2004, the school has so far trained 510 participants from over 80 countries. The school offers a certificate course providing specialized education and training on the development and implementation of knowledge management programmes in nuclear science and technology organizations. It is intended for young professionals in current or future leading roles in nuclear knowledge management.

In 2014, the school was approved by the Academic Council of The National Research Nuclear University MEPhI (Russian Federation) as part of their continuous education system, where participants receive their IAEA Certificate of Completion, as well as an accredited state certificate of professional development.

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