A new set of IAEA e-learning modules aimed at helping "newcomer" Member States understand the infrastructure requirements of a nuclear power programme is also receiving interest from operating countries. Using extra-budgetary funding from the Republic of Korea under the Peaceful Uses Initiative (PUI), the IAEA has so far produced five modules based on the IAEA Milestones approach and other relevant documents, and more are in the making.
Although newcomer countries are the primary target, those who are already operating nuclear power plants are also showing considerable interest. Sweden, for example, is planning to use the Systematic Approach to Training (SAT) module as part of their national SAT enhancement project.
The five modules launched to date are on Implementing a Nuclear Power Programme, Developing a Human Resource Strategy, Stakeholder Involvement, Management of a Nuclear Power Programme and Construction Management. The modules on Systematic Approach to Training, Feasibility Study and Management Systems are nearing completion. Modules on Safety, Safeguards and Emergency Preparedness are under development. The overall project addresses all the 19 infrastructure issues identified in the Milestones approach and other relevant topics.
The main objective of launching the project in 2012 was to bring to life the IAEA's guidance in responsible and sustainable infrastructure development by making it more accessible and interactive. The modules use different media formats: videos and interactive exercises engage the learners and audio summaries cover the key learning points.
Another way of bringing the learning to life was to create a fictitious country called Bredonia, which is embarking on a nuclear power programme. With its own nuclear organisations and key players, Bredonia features throughout the modules, adding realism to the content and continuity throughout the modules.
Currently the modules are accessible directly through the IAEA web site. The plan is to make them available in downloadable formats soon to enable Member States to include them into their own national learning management programmes. Being available on CDs, USB sticks and other mobile devices, they can be accessed on the move. This is especially important for one of the key target audience groups, the senior decision makers and government officials of a country, who are often on the move and have limited time. Most modules include an initial high-level summary, of particular relevance to the decision makers, before going into more detail which would be of more interest to professional/specialist staff in various nuclear industry organisations. Other target audiences include Member State participants in IAEA meetings and activities, academia and students, and the modules can even be used as part of induction for new staff in the IAEA or Member State organisations.
An additional benefit of the project has been to create a style for IAEA e-learning material, which is being copied throughout the IAEA, with several other e-learning projects under consideration by various Departments.