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Towards a European nuclear competence area


In order to support the Euratom Programme’s objective of maintaining and enhancing the EU’s nuclear competences, the consortium would implement a comprehensive pan-European E&T programme in the areas related to the use of nuclear and ionising radiation technologies, including ionising radiation applications beyond nuclear energy. The action will consolidate the field of nuclear education and training in the EU by providing detailed insight, building upon previously developed activities e.g. the European Nuclear Education Network (ENEN) or the Sustainable Nuclear Energy Technology platform (SNETP) and its pillars, the European Learning Initiative in Nuclear Decommissioning and Environmental Remediation (ELINDER), DG ENER ENSTTI study (2016), or other strategies and frameworks under the European Education Area (EEA), European Higher Education Area (EHEA) and European Research Area (ERA) and designing a common approach at European level.

For the workforce needing specialised knowledge, skills and competence in this field (operators, TSOs, regulators, medical and other non-power applications), the action will provide a detailed analysis of national strategies and knowledge management programmes in terms of supply (academia) and demand (end-users) and how these strategies can be translated into educational and training programmes to ensure sufficient and skilled staff is available for the sector.

The action will further focus on attracting new talents by better promoting the existing European education programmes as well as by activities such as competitions, career events, summer camps, etc., targeting high school pupils, undergraduates and teachers.

Additionally, in order to tackle the fragmentation of the relevant nuclear training opportunities in the EU, the action will contribute to the development of a coherent and sustainable Euratom vocational training programme, using the Common Quality Assurance Framework (CQAF) for Vocational Education and Training (VET) and the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) for education. This will primarily be implemented in nuclear domains where there is a shortage of training offers or areas that would profit the most from international collaboration.

Complementing the MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships accessible to nuclear researchers, a mobility scheme should be an integral part of the action in order to enable students’ and young researchers’ participation in the activities. In particular, it will facilitate access to E&T actions including access to learning facilities, as well as support participation in dedicated events (summer schools, workshops, conferences, etc.) and research and dissemination activities of Euratom projects as an important part of guided career development of highly specialised students and young professionals in multidisciplinary and multicultural environments. The mobility scheme should be extensive and sustainable and be equipped with sufficient funds.

The action should bring together teachers, academia, operators, regulators, teaching and training organisations, industrial and non-industrial suppliers, end users of nuclear and ionising radiation technology (in particular from power and non-power industry) and build on the experience and lessons learned of ongoing or completed projects.

In the context of the scope of this action, the Commission encourages international cooperation and mobility exchange beyond Euratom, particularly with international organisations (such as OECD/NEA NEST[[Nuclear Education, Skills and Technology (NEST) Framework launched by Nuclear Energy Agency (https://www.oecd-nea.org/), aiming at address important gaps in nuclear skills capacity building, knowledge transfer and technical innovation]]) and institutions from third countries with the most advanced nuclear research programmes.

The action should build a long-term career perspective within the field while taking into account current job trends and evolutions. Human Resources specialists should be involved in this action.

Proposals could pool the necessary financial resources from the participating national (or regional) research programmes with a view to implementing transnational proposals resulting in grants to third parties in order to implement activities of this action.

Where appropriate, the Commission recommends consortia make use of the services of the JRC. The JRC may participate in the preparation and submission of the proposal. The JRC would bear the operational costs for its own staff and research infrastructure operational costs. The JRC facilities and expertise are listed in General Annex H of this Work Programme.