A major international event in nuclear education and training is scheduled to start this week, as the "School of Nuclear Knowledge Management" commences today in Trieste, Italy. The IAEA-facilitated, one-week seminar brings together dozens of participants from developing countries, and is expected to cover all facets of knowledge management in nuclear facilities.
The coursework introduces participants to the basics of nuclear knowledge management, along with helping to develop policies to retain nuclear knowledge, manage informational resources, and manage human resources with a view to enhancing knowledge capture and transfer.
The school´s one week of courses features a renowned international team of lecturers, and the curriculum has been in constant development over the past half-decade. During the week, students will participate in working sessions, discussions, case studies, and poster sessions. At the conclusion of the school, an examination is given to participants, and those who pass receive a certificate denoting completion of the programme.
"Most of the workshops that the IAEA typically organizes for nuclear knowledge management are for sharing experiences between participants of an equal experience level," said Andrey Kosilov, one of the course directors for the workshop and consultant for the IAEA´s Knowledge Management Section. "But the idea of this school is different. We are bringing together young professionals who are not yet active in the area and giving them the knowledge and practical guidance on how they can begin nuclear knowledge management programmes in their own organizations."
The school is in its fifth year of operation, having begun its annual coursework in 2004. It is being held at the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), a consortium of staff scientists and international experts who take on a wide range of research activities. Throughout the year, the ICTP hosts courses and lectures for scientists and researchers from around the world.
The school is jointly organized by the IAEA, the ICTP, the World Nuclear Association, and the Central European Initiative. The European Commission donated some funds to the school.
Arrangements have also been made to subsidize the travel and expenses of some participants from developing countries.
Every application of nuclear technology is based on nuclear knowledge. Assuring the smooth and seamless transfer of knowledge from one generation of nuclear workers to another is a key component of nuclear safety, both within nuclear facilities and non-energy applications. The IAEA has long taken a leadership role in the management and preservation of nuclear knowledge, and it plans initiatives and activities throughout the year which aim to help Member States to manage this increasingly important responsibility.