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

You are here

IAEA School on Nuclear and Radiological Leadership for Safety Hosted in China


Participants at an interactive session conducted during the  IAEA School on Nuclear and Radiological Leadership for Safety hosted in China. (Photo: M. Moracho/IAEA) 

Over 25 participants received in depth details on  the multi-faceted and vital role of leadership in the field of nuclear safety, during the  IAEA School on Nuclear and Radiological Leadership for Safety, hosted in Beijing, China from 11 to 15 December.

“The course highlighted the importance of effective internal and external communication strategies, which are crucial to ensuring safety at nuclear facilities, “ said Maria Moracho Ramirez, a senior IAEA nuclear safety officer, who is the lead of this school. “This immersive learning experience is aimed to equip attendees with a well-rounded understanding of key aspects in nuclear safety leadership,” she underscored.

The participants gained knowledge on integrated management systems at nuclear power plants, to have a better understanding of the intricacies of managing safety across multiple levels and processes and also received insights into the lessons learned from past nuclear and radiological accidents.

Highlighting the relevance of this school, Director of the General Division of the Eastern Office of the Chinese National Nuclear Safety Administration (NNSA), Li Xuefa said: “the arrangement of the school is very good, combining presentations with exercises, group discussions, games and enabling everyone to improve their leadership skills. I expect to bring back to the regulator the fruits of the discussions on safety culture and leadership models, international requirements and increase awareness of leadership for safety.”

The importance of the school was also echoed by Director of the Safety Department of the China Nuclear Energy Industry Corporation, Guo Luyi who emphasized that “improving safety culture and safety awareness is very important, I am planning to bring back some of the tools I have learnt to reinforce safety leadership where I work.”

Three case study-based incidents were assessed during the weeklong school. The incidents took place in a nuclear power plant, a medical facility and a nuclear fuel facility, and were analyzed together with related exercises that included role play relating to these scenarios, with a focus on good practices learned from such incidents.

The participants, working in teams, also engaged in an interactive group activity intended to simulate the conditions of a radioactive environment — where addressing the safety first principle was critical. To give the participants experience in communications relating to nuclear safety, a staged press conference was also conducted where they were able to practice risk communication skills in a simulated emergency situation involving a leak of radioactivity to the environment from a nuclear fuel facility.

Participants also learned that IAEA and China’s Nuclear and Radiation Safety Centre (NSC) signed an agreement in 2023 that designated the NSC as an IAEA Collaborating Centre and that one of its key activities is capacity building in nuclear safety.

Deputy Director General of NSC Yin Dejian underlined the importance of his country’s hosting this event, noting that “as the Technical Support Organisation (TSO) of China's nuclear safety regulator, the NSC was pleased to be designated as an IAEA Collaborating Centre for nuclear and radiation safety. The NSC will leverage the IAEA Collaborating Centre as a platform to build a shared future for the nuclear safety family. The participants from the regulator and the operator share common but differentiated responsibilities on nuclear safety, and the school is conducive to enhancing the management system and safety culture for both.”

To date, a total of 21 leadership schools have been successfully conducted, attracting over 500 participants with more than 85 nationalities.

Leadership school objective

The IAEA School of Nuclear and Radiological Leadership for Safety was established to facilitate the effective implementation of safety requirements outlined in the IAEA Safety Standards Series No. GSR Part 2. These requirements form the basis for both theoretical and practical demonstrations conducted within the school.

The school's objective is to promote an understanding of the significance of leadership in nuclear and radiological safety among early to mid-career nuclear professionals, who are the prospective nuclear safety leaders of the future.

The first school was conducted in 2017 in France, and participants were given training opportunities to enhance their practical grasp of safety leadership through interactive exercises and the analysis of case studies. It also provided them with tools to perpetuate and improve safety practices at nuclear facilities as part of their everyday responsibilities.

“The International School of Nuclear and Radiological Leadership for Safety stands as a pivotal initiative by the IAEA to foster the capabilities of the emerging generation of professionals in nuclear and radiological applications,” said Lingquan Guo, Head of the IAEA Networks Management and Partnership Section.  

“The programme distinguishes itself through its experiential learning methodology, providing participants with the valuable opportunity to visit and gain firsthand experience at the comprehensive facilities of the NSC within the National R&D Center for Nuclear and Radiation Safety Regulatory Technology of China,” he further added.

The next leadership school will take place in Japan in 2024.

Stay in touch