IAEA School of Nuclear Energy Management - Lessons for nuclear leaders13 January 2015
The IAEA School of Nuclear Energy Management offers a free three-week training course for outstanding young nuclear professionals around the world. It has been named a training course of the year in the 2014 Nuclear Training Awards.
Since its inception in November 2010, the International Atomic Energy Agency's School of Nuclear Energy Management has offered training to over 400 budding leaders from Asia, Africa, Europe, North America and Middle East.
The course is run by the IAEA in cooperation with the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Italy or with another local institution, such as the University of Tokyo in Japan, Texas A&M University in the USA, or KUSTAR University in the UAE.
The programme is targeted at nuclear industry professionals aged between 30 and 38, with a bachelor's or master's degree, and at least three years of work experience in the nuclear field. Participants can come from across the sector, from nuclear power plants, R&D organisations, utilities, regulators, suppliers and education and training organisations. Excellent verbal and written English skills are a prerequisite for the course, which is taught entirely in English.
Competition for places is fierce. The programme, which costs in the region €60,000-85,000 to run, is free to successful nominated participants. Nominees must submit a letter of recommendation from their employer or supervisor along with a personal letter of motivation. Class sizes are limited to 50 students.
“The IAEA programme aims to develop leadership skills for young professionals not acting not only in countries that operate nuclear power facilities, but also in countries that seek to develop nuclear power. This is a very innovative approach at a time when the nuclear industry is welcoming more new entrants," said Jacques Regaldo, chairman, World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO).
Promising nominees from developing countries may also receive support from the IAEA Technical Cooperation Fund towards expenses.
The course helps young employees of nuclear organisations to understand the overall complexity and breadth of the nuclear energy domain and elements of policy development and sustainable management.
Participants are involved in an interactive sequence of lectures and sessions covering the main principles of safe and sustainable operation of nuclear power.
The course programme follows and presents recommendations described in the IAEA Safety Standards and Nuclear Energy Series.
The curriculum combines knowledge-based and management-focused elements. 'Basic' training covers the main principles of nuclear power, including technology, fuel cycle, safety, security and safeguards. Leadership training is focused on organisational, financial, legal, knowledge, human resources management, stakeholder engagement and international cooperation. This is in line with the school's aim to encourage a bridge of knowledge exchange between leaders and managers in the global nuclear sector and the young professionals who will succeed them in future decades.
The lecturers selected for the school are leading experts in the nuclear field and are from a globally diverse group. In 2013, 27 specialists from the IAEA and national nuclear organisations served as the faculty of the school in Trieste, Italy.
As part of the training, participants are provided access to online materials and lecture notes, in addition to a reading list provided by lecturers, specifically for each topic. All the lectures, case studies, panel discussions and Q&A sessions are underpinned by technical tours to a nuclear training centre and to a nuclear power plant. The course held at Texas A&M University in 2013 saw students visit the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO) and WANO offices, as well as the Vogtle 3&4 AP1000 nuclear power plant construction site in Georgia.
Evaluation is through various measures including group discussions, case studies and written assessments. Participants also choose a topic of interest and work in groups on a given project, which is presented at the end of the school. On the last day all participants have to pass a computer-based test, and if successful receive a certificate.
At the end of each course participants are asked to provide feedback to ensure continuous improvement and innovation in the school.
Other shortlisted courses (Training course of the year - medium)
- Nuclear Leadership Academy (EDF Energy)
- Geological Storage in Precambrian Bedrock (The Royal Institute of Technology, Linnaeus University, NOVA Center for University Studies, SKB and University of Illinois - Urbana Champagne)