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IAEA Boosts Skills in Asia with Nuclear Reactor Simulators Course

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Course participants receive training on basic nuclear reactor simulators for education. (IAEA/ C. Batra)

Through a training course in Daejeon, Republic of Korea, held this month the IAEA presented computer simulation tools to university professors, nuclear professionals and regulatory authorities in Asia to demonstrate the physics and operational response characteristics of a nuclear reactor.

The course is one in a series of activities organized to support education and training on nuclear reactor systems and technology in the region. Several countries are considering the introduction of nuclear power programmes, and the demand for qualified nuclear professionals drives the need to develop robust nuclear science and technology education programmes.

“These reactor simulators are useful for understanding nuclear power systems in normal operation and for accident analysis. We plan to develop similar simulator software for the Dalat Nuclear Research Reactor to assist in education and training,” said Kien Cuong Nguyen, Department Head of Reactor Physics and Engineering at the Nuclear Research Institute in Vietnam, after participating in the course.

The IAEA hosted the course in cooperation with the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) at the Nuclear Training and Education Centre in Daejeon. The workshop included hands-on training with IAEA basic principle simulators for over a dozen participants from ten different countries: Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Kenya, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Nigeria, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Republic of Korea.

Nuclear reactor simulators, which can be operated from personal computers, provide insight and understanding of reactor designs and of the operational characteristics of various pressurized water cooled reactors. They are meant for a broad audience of technical and non-technical workers and serve as an introductory educational tool. They’re particularly useful for universities interested in developing nuclear engineering courses. The application of these simulators is only in education and is limited to providing the general characteristics of selected types of power reactor systems; they’re not intended to be used for plant-specific purposes such as design, safety evaluation, licensing or operator training.

“Our suite of simulators further supports and strengthens our already established programme to teach and train nuclear professionals from our Member States, especially from nuclear newcomer countries,” said Mikhail Chudakov, IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Nuclear Energy.

The IAEA arranges for the development and distribution of simulation software and corresponding training materials, sponsors training courses and workshops, and distributes computer programs and documentation. These simulators, including the associated documentation, are distributed at no cost to interested parties in IAEA Member States. For more information, including the simulator request form, see the IAEA Collection of Basic Principle Simulators for Education.

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