Nuclear Science and Engineering Curriculum Benchmarking 

An Assist Visit on Nuclear Education is focussed on competency based curriculum benchmarking for Nuclear Science and Engineering degree programs in Member States Universities.

The development of any national nuclear energy programme is dependent on the successful development of the workforce, through a sustainable government and industry supported nuclear educational and training programme. A degree in Nuclear Science and/or Nuclear Engineering is often a mandatory prerequisite for a nuclear worker and by fare an obligatory requirement for safety related positions. Specialists with nuclear engineering background represent the backbone for the HR pipeline in countries with mature nuclear power programmes. Establishing a competitive nuclear education is a necessity for countries who are considering introducing nuclear power in their national energy mix. However how to ensure an appropriate expertise level of graduates and how to compare graduates from different educational programmes in different countries?

The assist visits on nuclear education help decision makers in nuclear education from governments, academia, regulators, facility owners and operators and private industry and to educators in Member States on a competence-based approach in development of curricula in nuclear engineering, improvements and formulation of strategies, particularly for newcomer countries.

A competent nuclear engineer can be produced through varying contributions of formal academic programme and industry training but it is important to recognize that neither education nor training on their own can produce the high level of competence required by the nuclear industry. It is recognized that a robust nuclear engineering course is the sum of many subjects. The core curriculum consists of courses in:

  • Reactor physics;
  • Nuclear fuel cycle;
  • Thermal hydraulics;
  • Materials;
  • Radiochemistry;
  • Radiological protection;
  • Safety, security and safeguards;
  • Dynamics, control and instrumentation;
  • Nuclear instrumentation;
  • Reactor systems and engineering;
  • Communication, team working, basic business/economics, project management.

The more detailed description of benchmarking criteria can be found in the IAEA publication: 
Nuclear Engineering Education A Competence Based Approach to Curricula Development

In course of the Assist Visit a group of International Nuclear Education specialists led by an IAEA representative helps the requesting University to assure completeness and indicate areas for improvement based on benchmarking criteria and best practice in nuclear education. A standard duration of the Assist Visit is 4-5 working days.

Target Organization/institution

The service is tailored primarily for Universities who have or plan to launch programmes in nuclear science and nuclear engineering and seek an independent opinion for further improvement.

How to Request

The Assist Visit can be requested directly through the letter addressed to the IAEA DDG for Nuclear Energy or through the official Technical Cooperation communication channel (national liaison officer) Support, guidance, preliminary content and more information in implementing the Assist Visit can be requested by contacting the IAEA NKM Section. The lead time to request the Assist Visit is at least 9 month prior to the intended date of the visit.

For more information please contact the Scientific Secretary M. Sbaffoni at: NKM-Contact