Knowledge is Power

More and more countries are looking to nuclear power as a sustainable and low-carbon energy source, and nuclear energy management schools, like the one being held in Abu Dhabi, help prepare countries for nuclear power by giving young professionals essential expertise and international connections for managing development of a national nuclear energy programme. (Photo: F. Adachi/IAEA)

Transferring knowledge on managerial issues to the next generation of nuclear power executives is the goal of an ongoing course hosted by the United Arab Emirates and the IAEA. Equipping a new cohort of nuclear professionals with a broader understanding of industry specific challenges will help Member States build and maintain skilled leadership teams.

“The importance and recognition of nuclear power as a sustainable and low-carbon energy source continues to grow,” said Mikhail Chudakov, Deputy Director General and Head of the IAEA’s Department of Nuclear Energy, in his welcoming address to the 2nd Joint UAE-IAEA Nuclear Energy Management School that was launched last week. “The accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant highlighted that a successful nuclear programme requires sustainable national infrastructure,” he added. “Such an infrastructure should provide governmental, legal, regulatory, industrial, technological, administrative and human support throughout the whole life cycle of a programme.”

The two-week course, held from 17 to 28 May 2015, has brought 46 participants from 11 Asian and Pacific countries to Abu Dhabi to gain essential expertise and international connections for managing development of a national nuclear energy programme. Chudakov emphasized that participants should absorb as much knowledge as possible and develop lasting networks among themselves and the staff.

“The training is very good for our new employees who don’t know about or have not been exposed to information about nuclear programmes,” said Shaima Al Mansoor, a capacity building manager at the UAE’s Federal Authority for Nuclear Radiation.

The school’s students are young employees with managerial potential and come from nuclear power plants, research and development organizations, utilities, regulators, suppliers, education and training organizations.

During the course, students are exposed to all modes of instruction and training activities, including lectures, discussions, group work, presentations and site visits to nuclear facilities within the UAE.

A lot to learn

The school adapts its curriculum to meet the needs of the participating countries and their plans for nuclear power. It addresses key areas in managing a nuclear power programme, such as economics of nuclear power, energy policy and energy planning, legal aspects, knowledge and human resource management, stakeholder involvement, present and advanced technologies, the fuel cycle, safety and security, safeguards and radiation protection.

The Nuclear Energy Management School in Abu Dhabi is funded by the IAEA Department of Technical Cooperation and is jointly hosted by Khalifa University, the UAE’s Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation and the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation. It is the first of three NEM schools scheduled for 2015, with the next ones set to take place in Tokyo and Tokaimura, Japan, in June and in Trieste, Italy, in November.