Nuclear Energy Managers Tutored in Texas

Twenty-four participants from a dozen countries are attending IAEA's School for Nuclear Energy Management until April 5 and then will continue their studies in Georgia.

For the first time, the International Atomic Energy Agency is presenting its School for Nuclear Energy Management on U.S. soil. The school is taking place through April 5 at Texas A&M University and then will meet for two more weeks in Georgia, according to a March 26 IAEA news release.

The school has been offered three times before, at The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Italy, in the United Arab Emirates, and in Japan. This U.S. one is hosted by the U.S. government and the Nuclear Power Institute affiliated with Texas A&M, with lectures, presentations, and group work guided by experts from IAEA, Texas A&M, the American Nuclear Society, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Institute for Nuclear Power Operations, and the World Association of Nuclear Operators.

There are 24 students -- described by IAEA as "carefully selected professionals from ages 28 to 45 with managerial potential" -- from countries including Argentina, Brazil, China, Ghana, Malaysia, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, Great Britain, Uruguay, and the United States.

According to IAEA, the school addresses management challenges in the nuclear industry and is aimed at building future leadership to manage and support nuclear energy programs. "My main message to you, as future leaders of the nuclear industry, is that everyone involved in nuclear power must have a total commitment to safety," IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano told participants in his opening statement. "Additionally, governments, operators, and regulators must be as open and transparent as is compatible with maintaining safety and security. If you are honest in acknowledging problems as they arise, you will have more credibility when you explain that nuclear power actually has an excellent safety record."

IAEA Deputy Director General for Nuclear Energy, Alexander Bychkov, told them, "Nuclear is a very high-tech field and is not without potential danger. I strongly believe that the nuclear manager of the 21st century must be three things: First, a good specialist in one of the nuclear areas such as fuel cycle, reactor technology, reactor physics; second, he or she must have broad knowledge of all nuclear branches; and third, a basic understanding of economics, social science and psychology is required. You all are specialists in one of these nuclear areas. So the task of this school is to give you broad knowledge and basic understanding of all these nuclear fields."

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