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Training the Nuclear Leaders: The First IAEA Nuclear Energy Management School in Russia Emphasizes Development of Nuclear Knowledge Infrastructure

Technical tour of the full-scope simulator of the Floating NPP "Akademik Lomonosov". (Photo:ROSATOM-CICE&T)

On 16 September 2016, certificates were given to participants symbolizing the successful completion of an intense two-week training programme - the First Joint ROSATOM-IAEA Nuclear Energy Management (NEM) School, held  in Russia from 5 to 16 September and was hosted by the Saint-Petersburg Branch of the Rosatom Central Institute for Continuing Education and Training (ROSATOM-CICE&T). 

Training the nuclear leaders

The event was organized by the Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation "Rosatom" in cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) with the purpose of building leadership competencies in managing nuclear energy programmes, particularly in newcomer countries that seek to develop nuclear power or other nuclear applications.

Current and future nuclear leaders from eighteen countries acquired detailed insights on nuclear power and an overview of the nuclear sector in the global context. IAEA, international and ROSATOM experts specializing in various fields shared their experience and best practices regarding various issues covering technical, legal, financial and societal aspects of national nuclear programmes. The course introduced the participants to a range of topics on the use of nuclear energy, such as issues of nuclear infrastructure development, the management of safety and safety culture, advances in reactor technologies, and nuclear knowledge management. The Joint ROSATOM-IAEA NEM School served as an effective tool to transfer management experience and knowledge. The directors of the School were the IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Nuclear Energy, Mr. Mikhail Chudakov and Vice-Rector ROSATOM-CICE&T, Prof. Vladimir Artisiuk.

"This School has been very interesting, very educating. I like the way the programme was structured: it covered all 19 infrastructure issues... the IAEA experts gave the guidelines and the ROSATOM experts gave more of the practical knowledge, practical utilization of these ideas. We had a visit to Leningrad NPP, to ROSATOM Emergency Response Center and some other visits including cultural tours to some historical landmarks of the city. So, I really enjoyed the programme, I've been well educated and also enjoyed being in Saint Petersburg," said Augustine BENNI, Scientist, Principal Scientific Officer, Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission, Nigeria.

Not only lectures were included in the programme, but practical training as well, such as the unique NKM Business Simulation Game, where participants experienced on their own cost the need of knowledge preservation and sharing among nuclear industry stakeholders; and a group project called "Infrastructure Development" where the trainees were brainstorming solutions to overcome the main problems in development of nuclear infrastructure issues, such as national position, management, legal framework, regulatory framework and human resource development – the ones which more commonly have recommendations during the IAEA Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review missions according to the six years of experience in INIR (TECDOC No. 1779).

"The school was not just for training the participants on the technical side, but they trained us in the assessment of economic feasibility of a NPP project. I think this school gave a good presentation both from the theoretical point of view and from the practical point of view: the group working sessions on nuclear infrastructure development were good to build up our knowledge on how newcomer countries like Malaysia should plan for a nuclear power programme utilizing the IAEA milestone approach guidelines," said Jonathan TAN, Assistant Manager – Economist, Malaysia Nuclear Power Corporation, Malaysia.

"This course was very useful especially for newcomer countries. The strong point of this course was the NKM business game simulation because it involved all of our skills and forced us to utilize them in hands-on sessions which closely approached real life situations where we are making decisions in a project," said Alim MARDHI – Researcher at Center for Reactor Technology and Nuclear Safety, BATAN, Indonesia.

Even though lectures and practical sessions are very important, the experience of visiting real industry facilities should not be underestimated. In this regard, several informative technical tours were organized during the School. The participants had an opportunity to visit the construction site of Leningrad NPP 2 (VVER-1200 reactors) including the reactor hall, turbine hall and the full-scope simulators of operating and constructed units. Also the trainees visited the Emergency Response Center of ROSATOM (St. Petersburg), the full-scope simulator of the Floating NPP "Akademik Lomonosov" and the Nuclear Industry Information Center (NIIC) in Saint Petersburg.