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Building Capacities in Pressurized Water Reactor Technology in Mexico

Participants at the training in Mexico. 

A national level training course conducted by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in cooperation with Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Nucleares (ININ) has taken place in Mexico City from 24 to 28 October 2016. The aim of the one week training course was to familiarize participants with pressurized water reactor (PWR) technology.

The training, supported through the IAEA’s technical cooperation (TC) programme[1], was partly delivered using a personal computer based nuclear power plant simulator, in order to teach the system engineering and simulate various reactor phenomena.  Around 40 people from 12 different national organizations, including professionals from ININ, national nuclear power plants (NPPs), and academia participated in the simulator activity.

“In a scenario where Mexico considers increasing the nuclear power capacity, it is very important to have knowledge and understanding of various types of available reactor technologies”, said Chirayu Batra, nuclear engineer from the Nuclear Power Technology Development Section of IAEA. “Increasing the fleet of nuclear power plants comes with its own challenges, and one of the major challenges is the development of human capacity. And this is what the ultimate goal of this course is, to strengthen the present and prepare for the future.”

“The course was taught in a very informative manner, the instructors had extensive knowledge and experience in the area of behaviour of PWR type nuclear reactors”, said Humberto Gonzalez, one of the participants who works at the Laguna Verde Nuclear Power Plant in the reactor engineering department.

 “The objective of the training course is to support Mexico on building human resource capacity in pressurized water reactor technology. Presently, Mexico has two operating boiling water reactors (BWRs) in Laguna Verde. Significant trainings, including simulator courses, has strengthened the understanding and knowledge on BWRs, ” said Mr Federico Puente, director of scientific research, ININ, “A simulator training course teaching the fundamentals of pressurized water reactor technology will set a firm base for comparing possible technologies, understanding the principles and qualify in an effective manner our nuclear professionals, professors, operators, researchers etc.”

The training course aimed at building participants’ understanding of the physics and technology of water cooled reactors. The current training suite consists of nine simulators and the IAEA is working continuously to increase the number of simulators available. A Small Modular Reactor simulator for educational purposes will be added to the suite by the end of this year. More information about simulators is available here

 

[1] The course was delivered through MEX/9/055, ‘Re-Evaluating Source Term Release and Hydrogen Control for a Boiling Water Reactor-5 with Mark II Containment to Improve the Accident Management Programme’. This project aims to contribute to the accomplishment of a comprehensive plan for developing and implementing strategies for the prevention or mitigation of severe accidents in the country.

 

Group photo of the participants.

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