The University of Warsaw (UW) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with South Korea’s Kepco International Nuclear Graduate School (KINGS), Pusan National University (PNU) and Korea Nuclear Association for International Cooperation (KNA). The agreement will support the establishment of a European training centre for nuclear energy at the UW’s Faculty of Physics.

“In order to build a nuclear power sector in Poland, people with a solid educational background are needed,” said UW Rector Professor Alojzy Z Nowak. “We have many talented students and doctoral candidates who can become experts in this field. This is possible thanks to the cooperation with Korean partners.”

Professor Krzysztof Turzyński, Vice-Dean for student affairs at UW’s Faculty of Physics said: “The founding of the Nuclear Collaboration Centre at UW will create a hub, which will serve as a training centre of Korean nuclear technology for the whole of Europe. It is a great distinction but also an obligation because the Faculty of Physics will become the source of technological know-how.”

UW has developed close cooperation with KINGS university over the years. In July 2020, an agreement was reached to provide UW students with unique practical competences every year. “Thanks to this agreement, our students have semester-long stays in Ulsan, Korea, where KINGS is based, said Turzyński. “It is important to remember that we are talking about a university in the vicinity of five nuclear reactors. It is an excellent opportunity to learn about physics and technologies directly at the source.”

In November 2022, a MOU for a Collaborative Academic Programme on Nuclear Power Plant Engineering and Technology was signed between the UW and KINGS. The agreement aims to enhance cooperation on remote education. UW students can participate in online courses prepared by the KINGS.

UW is also receiving support from Europe. The project University of Warsaw for Nuclear Energy is creating a new programme and remodelling existing educational pathways related to nuclear energy. It has received more than PLN8m ($2m) from the European Funds for Social Development 2021-2027 (FERS) programme.

“The idea of creating the Nuclear Collaboration Centre emerged during the South Korean President’s visit to Poland last year and his conversation with the Rector of the University of Warsaw,” explained Turzyński. “Together with Professor Agnieszka Korgul, we prepared an application to the FERS programme and received funding … to launch a new course on nuclear energy. Almost PLN3.5m will be earmarked for scholarships for students and the remuneration of student internships. The internships will also be carried out in cooperation with national nuclear sector units, the National Centre for Nuclear Research, the Institute of Nuclear Chemistry & Technology, the Radioactive Waste Neutralisation Plant and Polskie Elektrownie Jądrowe (Polish Nuclear Power Plants).

The new study programme will be created together with Korean partners. Furthermore, the specialisation Nuclear Reactors Physics in MA studies will be modified. Around 170 students will be supported, who will begin their studies between the 2024/2025 and 2028/2029 academic year. KINGS will be involved in developing the study programmes. Korgul noted that these will include studies on the AP1000 and AP1400 reactors that will be used in the nuclear power plants planned for construction in Poland.

As part of the project, a science lab at the Faculty of Physics will be equipped with a new AmBe neutron source for research and training.

Image: The University of Warsaw has signed a MOU with Kepco International Nuclear Graduate School, Pusan National University and Korea Nuclear Association for International Cooperation to support the establishment of a European training centre for nuclear energy at the University of Warsaw’s Faculty of Physics