NEI Nuclear Training Awards 2013 - Special awards8 January 2014
In addition to the five winners, judges gave special recognition to four other training programmes that were shortlisted for the NEI Nuclear Training Awards 2013.
Exelon's Introduction to Power Plant Operations was highly commended in the category training course of the year (less than one year); The Eastern European Research Reactor Coalition, won a special award for the apprenticeship of the year category; and the UK nuclear training programmes Fit for Nuclear and Triple Bar Existing Sites (industry skills programme of the year) also share a special award.
Exelon Introduction to Power Plant Operations
Although it didn't win first place, our judges felt that this course, an interactive computer-based training that places the student first in a welcome centre for orientation, then in a 3D BWR or PWR environment, with simplified equipment to click and view, narrated videos and 3D animations explaining purpose and operation at a high level, deserved special mention. "A very innovative and accessible product with a very high relevance to industry needs and has been designed with a very good communication and pedagogic view," said Ulrik von Estorff. David Whitmore said, "Very innovative and visual interactive format should be very engaging and accessible for students." Ronald Knief said, "A great way to teach plant systems for the general audience."
The four-hour course is designed for the large number of plant employees who do not receive systems training, but who still need to have a need to understand the basic operation of the plant at a high level in order to have good thinking and engaged behaviours while working in and around the plant -- for example, security officers. The IPPO course engages this target group with content written at the right level and packaged in a professional and modern CBT interface. The course is delivered to a large population across an entire fleet at a fraction of the cost of an equivalent classroom course, and allows for flexible scheduling around shift schedules. IPPO shows the plants in a simplified manner with clear explanations that allows concepts to be quickly understood.
Eastern European Research Reactor Coalition
Judges nominated the Eastern European Research Reactor Coalition course, which offers practical hands-on training at five different research reactors, for a special award.
Many nuclear emerging countries have plans for new NPPs and therefore have a need for the education of future qualified nuclear staff, but most of those countries have no access to research reactors. Therefore, for either nuclear university training or technician training, there is a major problem with access to a low-power research reactor where such education and training can take place. This was the reason that the EERRI course was established, with the financial and logistical support of the IAEA, in 2008. Since then six such courses were carried out, with great success and excellent feedback from the participants. The programme continues and booking for two courses in 2014 has already started.
The Technical University Vienna/Atominstitut runs the course in cooperation with Technical University Vienna (Austria), TU Prague & National Research Institute Rez (Czech Rep.), TU Budapest & KFKI Atomic Energy Research Institute (Hungary) and Institut Josef Stefan (Slovenia). It offers access to TRIGA reactors in Vienna or Ljubljana, the Vrabec & NRI reactor in Prague and the BUTE & KFKI reactor, Budapest. The course starts and ends in Vienna and in between the group is transferred to at least two other countries depending on reactor availability. Subjects include reactor physics, I&C, reactor safety, core calculation using MCNP Monte Carlo code, radiation protection, emergency planning and public communication.
Fit for Nuclear & Triple Bar Existing Sites (UK nuclear industry)
Judge Jacques Regaldo said: "I really think that the Triple Bar ES and Fit for Nuclear programmes are very interesting because they are concrete, pragmatic, very well adapted to the needs of the industry and to the expected workforce skills."
The Triple Bar Existing Sites, launched in 2009, is the industry-agreed minimum requirement for un-escorted worker access to existing UK nuclear sites. Developed by the National Skills Academy for Nuclear, the Triple Bar introduces fundamental industry requirements for compliance, nuclear awareness and industry behaviours. It is suitable for professionals of all ages, with no minimum requirements.
"Centralised training delivered at a number of locations or online eliminates the need to undertake multiple assessments at different sites," said judge David Whitmore. The Triple Bar is available on selected dates at Bridgwater College, Babcock Training, Gen11 and West Suffolk College, or in online format year round.
The second innovative UK scheme praised by the judges was the Fit For Nuclear (F4N) programme, which helps supply chain companies measure their current operations against the standards required to supply the UK's new generation of new nuclear power stations.
"The NAMRC scheme is very innovative and of strategic importance for the target group and it is well placed in the (UK) marketplace," said judge Ulrik von Estorff.
Judge David Whitmore writes: "Overall I felt the UK deserved a special mention because of the joined up nature of its entries, which is probably down to the central role being played by organisations like NSAN, NAMRC and Cogent (and NESA which brings them all together)."
Photo: The Budapest Research Reactor (BRR), one of nine facilities used for training by the Eastern European Research Reactor Coalition.