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Global Network Meeting Highlights Knowledge Transfer and Capacity Building in Nuclear Safety

Experts in nuclear safety gathering at the 4rth GNSSN plenary meeting, which took place on the margins of the 61st IAEA General Conference. (Photo: F. Nassif/IAEA)

The fourth plenary meeting of the Global Nuclear Safety and Security Network (GNSSN) this week highlighted knowledge transfer and capacity building as key components of nuclear or radiation safety infrastructure.

“Capacity building is critical to ensuring the availability of qualified personnel who are ready to assume the responsibility for a safe, secure and sustainable use of nuclear science and technology,” said Juan Carlos Lentijo, IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Safety and Security in opening the event.

Participants discussed the following topics:

  • a new IAEA course to help early- to mid-career nuclear and radiation professionals advance their safety leadership skills. A pilot version of the course, the International School of Nuclear and Radiological Leadership for Safety, will be held from 30 October to 3 November 2017 in Nice, France. The course is planned to be held once a year in different regions.
  • the new GNSSN Global Education and Training Resource, which facilitates information exchange and lists global training resources on nuclear safety. The platform aims to support the development of national education and training programmes.
  • the importance of strong leadership for efficient internal and external communication in nuclear organizations. Participants requested further IAEA support in the form of training and expert exchange programmes as well as opportunities to share good practices in this area.
  • a new IAEA-developed Knowledge Management Portal on lessons learned from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident in 2011. The portal lists and shares lessons and observations noted in the IAEA Director General’s Report on the Fukushima Daiichi Accident in a structured manner.
  • the vital role of technical and scientific support organizations (TSOs) in safety, and a new initiative by GNSSN’s TSO Forum to support TSOs through a self-assessment methodology, case studies and national workshops.

Meeting participants welcomed the new GNSSN Chairman Khammar Mrabit, Director General of the Moroccan Nuclear and Radiological Safety and Security Agency, who said that a strong GNSSN was crucial for global nuclear safety and security.

“We should turn our challenges into opportunities,” Mrabit said. These opportunities include the use of “GNSSN as a global multi-stakeholder initiative for catalysing, mobilizing and mainstreaming actions on nuclear safety around the world.”

As part of the plenary meeting, the IAEA and the European Technical Safety Organisations Network signed an agreement aimed at assisting IAEA Member States in the development of research and programmes related to nuclear and radiation safety and providing a platform for information exchange on their respective projects. The agreement also aims to facilitate the mobility of experts from IAEA Member States and junior staff of technical and scientific support organizations.

What is GNSSN?

GNSSN is both a network and a web platform that helps countries share knowledge on nuclear safety and security. Through capacity building programmes and peer review missions, it seeks to achieve and maintain a high level of safety and security at nuclear facilities and activities around the world.