• English
  • العربية
  • 中文
  • Français
  • Русский
  • Español

You are here

Empowering Women in Nuclear: The Republic of Korea Hosts the Third IAEA Lise Meitner Programme


IAEA and Seoul National University (SNU) staff with LMP visiting professionals during a visit to the NuScale E2 Center Simulator at SNU in Seoul, Republic of Korea.  

IAEA efforts to support the career development of women professionals in the nuclear sector has taken another step forward, with experts from the IAEA Lise Meitner Programme visiting the Republic of Korea to advance their skills and knowledge. 

Over a two-week period, 12 participants from 11 countries took part in technical visits and discussions across the country, which currently has 26 operating nuclear power reactors. 

The IAEA Lise Meitner Programme (LMP), named after the Austrian-Swedish physicist, aims to boost women’s career development in the nuclear sector through professional visits hosted by IAEA member countries. This third LMP visit, which focused on nuclear power plant operations, took place from 25 March to 5 April 2024 and was hosted by the Korea Nuclear International Cooperation Foundation (KONICOF).  

''The Lise Meitner Programme provided me with a unique and invaluable opportunity to connect with women nuclear professionals from across the globe. Through engaging in technical workshops, presentations, professional development activities, and facility tours, I was able to build meaningful bonds and exchange knowledge and experiences with fellow professionals in the field,” said Yasemin Balci, a researcher at the Turkish Energy, Nuclear and Mineral Research Agency. “This experience not only enhanced my technical skills and understanding but also fostered a supportive network of colleagues and mentors, creating a lasting impact on my professional development.” 

During the technical portion of the programme, participants had the opportunity to visit nuclear facilities, which included a trip to the Saeul Nuclear Power Plant. Currently, there are two reactors under construction at Saeul, which is owned and operated by the largest electric power company in the Republic of Korea, Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Co. (KHNP). KHNP hosted a tour of their facilities for LMP participants to learn more about the monitoring system used for the operational status of Korean nuclear power plants. 

"The commitment and diligence of the IAEA Lise Meitner Programme visiting professionals have left a lasting impact on us. We trust that the knowledge and insights gained during the LMP visit in the Republic of Korea will propel their careers forward and contribute to shaping a more sustainable future,” said Jun Ho SHIN, President of KONICOF. 

The Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) also hosted the LMP professionals at a number of centres including the Nuclear Training Center, which provided hands-on exercises with a KAERI pressurized water reactor (PWR) simulator. During the technical tours, the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) Nuclear Fuel and KEPCO Engineering and Construction facilities invited the women professionals to take a closer look at the APR-1400 design technology (a pressurized water reactor producing up to 1,400 Megawatts of electricity per unit). 

LMP professionals visit the KAERI Underground Research Tunnel Facility (KURT) in Daejeon, Republic of Korea. KURT serves as a dedicated underground facility for conducting research on radioactive waste disposal. 

"I met passionate, young nuclear professionals on the first day of the IAEA Lise Meitner Programme. By the end of the visit, I could clearly see their remarkable transformation into leaders, poised to make significant contributions to the nuclear field,” said Dr Youngmi NAM, Principal Researcher of the KAERI Nuclear Training and Education Center. 

In addition, the programme was tailored to strengthen participants' soft skills, particularly in leadership and managerial abilities. This included visits and discussions with mentors from KAERI, the US Department of Energy and the IAEA, all of whom provided insights on how to build stronger professional relationships and networks throughout ones’ career. 

The LMP, launched in 2023 in celebration of International Women’s Day by IAEA Director General Grossi, builds upon the success of the IAEA Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellowship Programme (MSCFP), which provides scholarships for master's programmes in nuclear related studies and internship opportunities facilitated by the IAEA. The LMP focuses on the development of women’s technical and leadership skills through a multiweek visiting professional programme.  

“The Lise Meitner Programme, held in the Republic of Korea, was a truly transformative experience for me personally and professionally.  Not only was I able to gain valuable insight and connections that I can use in my current role, but I left with clear direction and inspiration on where I want to go in my career,” said Brittney Blackwood, a Nuclear Engineer and Project Manager at AlphaTech Research Corp. “Although I already loved the field of nuclear energy, I experienced such an electric and invigorating atmosphere as to completely renew my passion. I will forever cherish this incredibly unique opportunity.” 

Women leaders from the Korean nuclear industry led the mentoring workshop panel session held in Seoul, Republic of Korea. 

The first and second LMP visits were hosted last year by North Carolina State University, as well as Oak Ridge National Lab and Idaho National Lab in the United States of America. The third LMP visit comes shortly after the IAEA For More Women in Nuclear event, which gathered over 400 MSCFP and LMP nuclear professionals at IAEA headquarters in Vienna for a two-day event filled with panels discussions, presentations and career talks, resulting in a joint statement calling for more women in STEM. 

The fourth LMP visit will be announced soon and interested professionals can apply here.  

The IAEA Lise Meitner Programme

The IAEA Lise Meitner Programme (LMP) provides early- and mid‑career women professionals with opportunities to participate in a multiweek visiting professional programme and advance their technical and soft skills. The professional visits may focus in various areas and typically last between two to four weeks, gathering 10 to 15 visiting professionals per cohort. The visiting professionals are not expected to bear any financial cost for participation in the programme. 

The programme is funded by extra-budgetary and in-kind contributions from IAEA member countries and other donors. For more information, please click here

The IAEA works to address the underrepresentation of women in the nuclear field through the IAEA MSCFP and the LMP. The IAEA welcomes partnering with public and private sectors, academia and civil society to work together for more women in nuclear. 

For more information on how you can support the MSCFP and LMP please visit here. The fifth MSCFP application cycle will be announced here, and the fourth LMP application cycle will be announced here

Stay in touch