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Applications Open for the First ICTP-IAEA Nuclear Stakeholder Engagement School


The Joint ICTP‑IAEA Nuclear Stakeholder Engagement School will take place from 25 to 29 November 2024, in Trieste, Italy.

The Joint ICTP‑IAEA Nuclear Stakeholder Engagement School is now accepting applications until 7 June 2024. The school is a first-of-its-kind training event, and is designed to bolster skills in stakeholder engagement throughout the nuclear fuel cycle. It also aims to increase understanding of why it is important to embed stakeholder engagement in an organization’s management processes and core values. Organized jointly by the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the school will take place from 25 to 29 November 2024, in Trieste, Italy. For more details and to apply click here.

The school comes at a time when global interest in nuclear power as a climate and energy solution is on the rise. Nuclear power was included for the first time in the Global Stocktake under the Paris Agreement at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai last year. More than 20 countries at COP28 pledged to work towards tripling global nuclear capacity to achieve net zero by 2050.

“Many countries are considering nuclear power as they look to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, secure energy independence and stimulate socioeconomic development,” said Andrea Borio di Tigliole, Programme Coordinator at the IAEA Department of Nuclear Energy and the Director of the School. “Engaging all relevant stakeholders throughout the decision making process is increasingly recognized as a strategic element of any complete nuclear power programme, including the related nuclear fuel cycle and radioactive waste management.”

The school is designed for nuclear industry executives and managers as well as professionals from governmental and regulatory bodies, technical support organizations, operating organizations and other entities in IAEA Member States.

Over five days, participants will delve into the psychology of human decision making, explore various tools, methods, and approaches for engagement, and learn about roles and responsibilities of key organizations in nuclear power programmes, as well as related fuel cycle and radioactive waste management. The curriculum also addresses design and implementation of stakeholder engagement programmes, crisis and emergency communication strategies, tactics to counter disinformation, misinformation, rumours and fake news, as well as how to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the engagement strategies and ensure sustained stakeholder engagement over long timeframes. In addition to lectures, the School will offer interactive sessions and group projects.

Nuclear power currently provides about 25 per cent of global low carbon electricity production. Thirty‑one countries operate more than 400 nuclear power reactors while around 30 others are considering or embarking on nuclear power and working with the IAEA to develop the necessary infrastructure for a safe, secure and sustainable nuclear power programme.

The IAEA’s Milestones Approach, which provides a structured methodology for developing nuclear infrastructure, identifies stakeholder engagement as one of its 19 key issues requiring careful attention to avoid costly delays or even project failure. Engaging stakeholders is about creating dialogue, including promoting the benefits of nuclear technology and explaining its risks or complexities, and taking into account the roles and inputs of all interested individuals in the decision making process.

“Because stakeholder engagement cuts across other infrastructure issues and technical areas, it is most effective when it is integrated in organizational management processes,” Borio di Tigliole said. “The school will promote this principle as well as discuss the necessary skill sets and resources required for implementing a successful stakeholder engagement programme.”

The IAEA provides guidance on communicating and engaging various stakeholder groups through publications such as Stakeholder Engagement in Nuclear Programmes and Communication and Stakeholder Involvement in Radioactive Waste Disposal as well as IAEA Safety Standards such as GSG-6 “Communication and Consultation with Interested Parties by the Regulatory Body”, and others. It regularly holds national and regional workshops on stakeholder engagement and organizes panel sessions on this topic at various IAEA conferences. It also integrates this topic in its review missions.

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