Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Education boost for radioactive waste disposal

New training modules and educational programmes for higher qualifications in radioactive waste disposal will help address one of Europe’s key environmental and nuclear concerns.
Education boost for radioactive waste disposal
One of Europe’s pressing environmental issues concerns radioactive waste management. Since 2005, the EU’s PETRUS initiative has been mobilising radioactive waste management organisations, universities, research organisations and training institutes to address the challenge. More recently, the EU-funded project PETRUS III (Implementing sustainable E&T programmes in the field of radioactive wastes disposal) devised new approaches to support the education and employment of people in the field.

Building on its predecessors, PETRUS III developed training modules that lead to accredited qualification in geological disposal. It developed three training units based on learning outcomes for safety engineers and designed the learning agreement model to assess accreditation, including acceptance criteria for students.

In more detail, the project team developed a multidisciplinary training and research framework for PhD students, which it applied in two PETRUS conferences. The events featured top-level lectures on radioactive waste disposal presented by outstanding international experts, along with oral and poster presentations.

Addressing multidisciplinary skills for PhD students and young researchers was seen as crucial for enhancing young researchers’ capabilities in tackling complex topics related to radioactive waste disposal. The latter is by its very nature a cross-disciplinary field.

Among its key achievements, the project team also produced a doctoral school framework on waste disposal innovation. It then developed strategies to ensure the longevity and sustainability of the PETRUS initiative.

In addition, synergies and links with other EU-funded projects and with relevant associations reinforced the project’s work. Alignment with the European Nuclear Education Network (ENEN) and the European Credit system for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET) contributed significantly to achieving the project’s aims.

The project will ultimately result in top-notch training of high-quality PhD students and early-career researchers in the field, backed by a cross-disciplinary approach. It will provide the radioactive waste disposal community improved quality education and training, in addition to advancing research.

This in turn is expected to contribute positively to addressing the challenge of radioactive waste in Europe.

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Radioactive waste, waste management, PETRUS III, geological disposal, nuclear education
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