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Advancing nuclear education

 

The aim is to bring innovation to nuclear education by employing and/or developing new methods and tools based on most recent pedagogical knowledge, including hands-on exercises in order to make the field more attractive for a younger generation. Whenever appropriate, possible career paths should be put into the perspective, by anticipating professions of tomorrow. Rather than developing new programmes and/or courses, the existing ones should be adapted. The action could target students as well as teachers for secondary, higher and vocational education. It should bring together specialists in technical teaching from both the field of nuclear technology and ionising radiation (including radiation protection) and it should implement the most advanced educational techniques. Involvement of end-users of nuclear technology (industry, operators, research centres, medical applications, remote handling technologies etc.) is also required.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the Euratom Programme up to EUR 2.5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

One of the main concerns in nuclear sector is a loss of the younger generation's interest for specialized nuclear knowledge and a risk that the current workforce, progressively retiring, couldn't be replaced. Highly educated personnel with very specific knowledge, skills and competences will be still required regardless of the development of nuclear power sector in the EU, as either new builds, development of innovative and advanced reactors, long-term operations, shut-down, decommissioning, waste management and radiation protection all necessitate qualified staff. This is also the case of other industrial and medical applications making use of ionising radiation. If the EU is to keep its global position and wants to stay in the forefront of mastering the nuclear technology, then a new generation of the qualified researchers and workforce needs to be secured.

This action should contribute to increase the number of students and trainees and bring advanced educational technics in the field of nuclear technology and ionising radiation (including radiation protection) over next 3-5 years.