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IAEA Launches Webinar Series on Training Nuclear Facility Personnel

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The IAEA is launching a series of interactive webinars to strengthen the development and implementation of effective training and qualification programmes for nuclear facility personnel. The first webinar, on 9 June 2020, will provide an overview of this training of trainers’ series, with a brief review of its building blocks.

Nuclear facilities, from new projects and facilities in operation to decommissioning and waste management, need highly trained and competent staff due to the complexity of the technology and the need for high standards of performance, safety and conduct. Over the course of seven webinars, participants will learn from and interact with international experts while engaging on different topics related to training and qualification.

“The challenge in the 21st century is to ensure that training is cost effective, high quality and delivers the competence we need in our staff,” said Brian Molloy, a human resource development specialist from Ireland who will speak at the first webinar.

Setting the stage for the series, the first webinar will address different aspects of training and qualifications and how to achieve high quality and effectiveness. Identifying personnel to be trained, the type of training required and the difference between training in pre-operational and operational facilities will also be discussed. Tiina Kuusimäki, Training Manager at the Finnish nuclear power company TVO and Simon Earp, Pre-Operations Deputy Director at EDF Energy in the United Kingdom, will be the featured speakers along with Molloy.

“Superficially, in new build programmes and the pre-operational phases the challenges and approaches look the same,” Earp said. “However, to those currently engaged or planning to engage in new build projects these challenges can be considerable and require careful planning involving long lead times and dynamic management. This webinar will explore some of the key differences.”

The series target staff at nuclear operators. Participation in the webinars is free of charge and open to all following registration. Participants will be encouraged to ask questions and join in interactive segments during the webinars.

The second webinar, on 8 September 2020, will address how to build an effective training environment and highlight management support, a good learning environment, the interface between training and the line organization and the qualities needed to be an effective instructor.

The third webinar, on 10 November 2020 will address the question whether training can improve performance. It will highlight how training or other activities can be used to bring out the best in staff, and how training needs to be aligned with other aspects of a facility’s management system.

The remaining four webinars will take place during 2021 and address topics such as implementing innovations in training, assessing the effectiveness of completed training, training the next generation of nuclear facility staff, and finding practical solutions to common challenges through a systematic approach to training (SAT). “Applying SAT effectively ensures we only train who we need to, with what they need, when they need it,” Molloy said.

Several IAEA documents (see Related Resources) highlight that organizational objectives such as safe, reliable and efficient performance cannot be achieved solely by the quality of equipment and documentation. Sufficient numbers of adequately trained, qualified and motivated personnel are critical to achieving excellence and helping ensure that the personnel, public, facility and environment will be not put under undue risk.

“Training is key to achieving and maintaining the required competence of nuclear facility personnel,” said Dohee Hahn, Director of the IAEA’s Division of Nuclear Power. “This new webinar series will provide a vital platform for nuclear professionals to enhance their expertise by interacting with top international experts.”

To register to the webinars, please click here

Upcoming webinars will be held on a quarterly basis and address the following topics:

  • Building the blocks of nuclear facility training: Starting out
  • Building an effective training environment: Who does what and why?
  • Is training a solution for performance improvement? Bringing out the best
  • Training in the 21st Century: Innovations in implementation
  • Training completed: Assessing its effectiveness
  • Training the next wave: Feeding the talent pipeline
  • Troubleshooting SAT: Practical solutions to common challenges

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