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Experts Review Digital Applications for Nuclear Knowledge Management Programmes

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71 participants from 18 Member States met from 25 to 28 June in Beijing for the Technical Meeting on Digital Applications to Support Nuclear Knowledge Management. (Photo: CNPEC)

Using digital applications can help build capacity in efficient management of nuclear information and resources, and improve skills and competences of nuclear facility personnel, participants agreed at a recent IAEA Technical Meeting on Digital Applications to Support Nuclear Knowledge Management Programmes.

Focusing on innovative approaches to training and education, 71 participants from 18 IAEA Member States discussed countries’ experiences in a variety of digital applications designed to increase productivity, efficiency and reduce costs through automation and digitalization of training and educational activities.

The workshop, which took place from 25 to 28 June in Beijing, China, was hosted by the China Nuclear Power Engineering Company (CNPE). Discussion topics also included methods for improving digitalization strategies within nuclear knowledge management programmes.

Ki-Sig Kang, a Senior Knowledge Management Specialist at the IAEA, highlighted that several applications were under development by Member States that incorporate virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). VR applications simulate an environment, such as a reactor control room, within a digital headset and allow the user to interact with various elements of that environment. AR applications project computer-generated images onto a live, real image to create a dynamic composite view that is responsive to user input.    

“VR simulations allow nuclear power plant operators to be trained on new types of events that cannot be replicated in traditional simulators, such as a fire in a main control room,” Kang said. “Other VR applications allow operators to work in various locations within a virtual control room that simulates the same functionality as a real main control room.”

The meeting participants also toured China Nuclear Power Engineering Company (CNPE)’s Nuclear Engineering Simulation and Verification Centre, which enables users to verify the design and performance of a given reactor’s system through a computer simulation; the CNPE’s Project Command Centre, which has remote monitoring capabilities, enabling users to observe the construction of nuclear power plants in real time, and a model of the Hualong One, a new pressurized water reactor design.

“Knowledge management plays an increasingly important role in the operation and management of the nuclear industry,” said Chunning Jing, Vice General Manager of CNPE. “We need to consider how to optimize the sharing of proprietary knowledge within an enterprise or organization, and how to improve knowledge management with digital technology and artificial intelligence so that it will benefit the collation of knowledge within the nuclear industry.”

At the meeting Ramalingam Jehadeesan, Head of the Computer Division at the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, highlighted that India has enhanced its nuclear knowledge management system using computational intelligence applications. “We have developed natural language processing and machine learning techniques including applications which allow for the automatic extraction of metadata from technical publications as well as the automatic categorization of documents within a taxonomy,” he said. “The nuclear knowledge domain consists of numerous multidisciplinary elements, and it is important to be able to quickly locate information within a knowledge repository.”

 An IAEA technical document on IT digital applications to support nuclear knowledge management is being drafted, based in part on input provided by meeting participants. The publication will also provide guidance on the management of human resources in the field of nuclear energy and how to monitor and continually improve performance.

We need to consider how to optimize the sharing of proprietary knowledge within an enterprise or organization, and how to improve knowledge management with digital technology and artificial intelligence so that it will benefit the collation of knowledge within the nuclear industry.
Chunning Jing, Vice General Manager, CNPE

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