Bridging the Gap: 2015 IAEA Nuclear Energy Management School Commences in Japan

Group work is a key component of the IAEA-launched Nuclear Energy Management Schools, such as this one in Japan, 2 June 2015. (Photo: F.Adaci/IAEA) 

An IAEA school currently under way in Japan serves as an effective response tool to overcome one of the major challenges in the nuclear sector: Bridging the gap of management experience and knowledge between the industry’s veterans and the professionals who will succeed them.

Coming from 14 countries, 34 promising young professionals are the latest batch of potential nuclear leaders trained at the NEM School, hosted by the University of Tokyo, Japan. The participants are attending a two-week programme, which will give them detailed insights on nuclear power and other peaceful applications of nuclear technology. 

The importance and recognition of nuclear power as a sustainable and low carbon energy source continues to grow, even after the accident at the Fukushima Daichii nuclear power plant,” said Mikhail Chudakov, IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Nuclear Energy, in his welcome message to the students. “The purpose of the NEM School is to help Member States build and maintain more skilled leadership teams for the future management of their nuclear energy programmes.”

Strengthening knowledge and expertise in the nuclear sector

The comprehensive programme from 1 to 17 June 2015 will provide an overview of the nuclear sector in the global context. The curriculum will introduce the participants to a range of topics on the use of nuclear energy, such as understanding the requirements for a nuclear power plant infrastructure, IAEA safety standards and security guidance, non-proliferation and IAEA safeguards, lessons learnt from Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident, risk management, radiation protection, nuclear law and communication. The participants will also visit the Fukushima Daiichi NPP area as well as some research facilities and factories. The group projects are supervised by experts of Atomic Energy Society of Japan and the Alumni Association of the NEM School Japan.

This year’s NEM  is organized by Japan’s Nuclear Human Resource Development Network, Japan Atomic Energy Agency, the University of Tokyo, Japan Atomic Industrial Forum (JAIF) and the JAIF International Cooperation Centre, in cooperation with the IAEA. The NEM School in Japan has been organized solely by Japan since the last year’s school.

Supporting young professionals

The IAEA Nuclear Energy Management School was launched in 2010 in cooperation with the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP). The school’s purpose was to help address the obvious need for an expanded global cadre of nuclear professionals, brought about by the projected steady worldwide growth in the use of nuclear technologies – from electricity generation to medical, agricultural and industrial uses. Since then, besides the annual sessions in Trieste, Italy, regional schools have been conducted in the UAE, Japan and the USA. The NEM School enables the transfer of IAEA-specific knowledge to Member States, furthering their capacity building efforts.

The NEM School focuses mainly on training young professionals with managerial potential from developing countries on the different aspects of the industry. Candidates who are interested in attending the school are young professionals from IAEA Member States with established nuclear power programmes or those that are planning or started establishing them. Applicants must possess a degree in science, engineering, business or law, and must have a good understanding of nuclear fundamentals and experience in the government or the nuclear industry.