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Strengthening of Cooperation and Exchange for Nuclear Education and Training between the European Union and the Russian Federation

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EU and the Russian Federation cooperate over nuclear energy education

A supply of high level graduates to the VVER nuclear field is now ensured, thanks to the Euro-Russian collaboration efforts of an EU- funded project in collaboration with the European Nuclear Education Network (ENEN).

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The ENEN-RU II project has worked with partners from the Russian Federation to strengthen cooperation in the field of nuclear education and training. Linking with high-level Russian stakeholders in the nuclear sector, the initiative built on the earlier ENEN-RU project to further enhance bilateral nuclear energy activities and benefit both regions. With this goal in mind, the project partners analysed the nuclear energy landscape in the EU and Russia to identify barriers and opportunities for sustainable collaboration. Project coordinator and Secretary General of ENEN, Pedro Dieguez Porras says: ‘The objective was to harmonise education and training programmes between both regions at the Master's degree and PhD level, as well as for young professionals.’ Opportunities for cooperation were identified and taken up through joint collaboration at the Masters level through credit system agreements, joint courses and university exchanges. This included the study of a joint EU-Russian Federation MSc certificate in the field of nuclear engineering. In addition, PhD level students conducted joint lines of research based on established doctorate stages, whilst young professionals took part in joint training programmes. Mutual recognition of Education and training The project’s opening meeting discussed the importance of nuclear safety culture and training for Generation III and IV systems as well as cooperation in the field of research reactors. Joint training courses and summer schools were also carried out during the project’s lifetime. They included engineering aspects of nuclear fuel manufacturing, which provided a better understanding of nuclear fuel properties and the manufacturing techniques achieved in the Russian Federation. Other courses addressed multiphysics simulation of nuclear systems, as well as engineering computer modelling. Agreement on credit systems, online databases and the coordinated sharing of information through the forum and the website was achieved through the knowledge management framework. This provided the basis for the mutual recognition of Education and Training (E&T) programmes between the EU and the Russian Federation and extended the scope of the student, researcher and young professional exchanges. ‘This offered nuclear research centres and industry a wider basis for human resources and promoted cooperation in nuclear energy development,’ explains Mr. Dieguez Porras. Cooperation is the key to success Sustainable mechanisms for short-term and long-term cooperation were established through a permanent E&T Forum. This was reinforced by several bilateral collaboration agreements among the participants and an online database of infrastructures and E&T facilities. Coordination was successful through the sharing of information on the website. ‘The main objective was to map E&T facilities, laboratories and equipment for exchange purposes in EU and Russia, as well as clarify access rules and procedures. Furthermore, the database offers the possibility of storing and accessing all this information in a structured way,’ comments Mr. Dieguez Porras. The database is already available to all the ENEN-RU II project partners. Upon request, access can be granted to students of nuclear engineering from EU countries and Russia. Representatives of any E&T facilities, laboratories and equipment from EU and Russia can also acquire access of the database, enabling them to check and add relevant information to ensure the high quality of the collected data. ENEN-RU II will improve the mobility of personnel researching nuclear energy, as well as enhance access to facilities, laboratories and equipment for European and Russian students. By addressing the shortage of first-rate graduates in the field, the project will ensure a more advanced, modernised and secure nuclear sector that can meet growing energy needs and concerns.

Keywords

ENEN-RU II, nuclear energy, education, Russian Federation, bilateral

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