Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) – The Council for Nuclear Education, Skills and Technology (NEST) gathers for the 6th meeting in Paris

The NEST Board of Directors held its sixth meeting at the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) in Paris, bringing together members from 10 countries on October 10-11.

The purpose of this meeting was for the Board to review the impacts of the six NEST projects and to discuss future planning for outreach and cooperation with partners and stakeholders.

NEA Director General William D. Magwood, IV, opened the meeting by stressing the importance of the NEST framework in ensuring the future development of the nuclear energy industry.

“As the energy crisis becomes more evident, the importance of the NEST framework involving the younger generation in nuclear increases,” commented chief executive Magwood.

The NEST framework helps fill important gaps in nuclear skills capacity building, knowledge transfer and technical innovation in an international context, and currently includes six projects:

  1. Hydrogen Confinement Experiments for Reactor Safety (HYMERES)
  2. Small Modular Reactors (SMR)
  3. Advanced Remote and Robotic Technology for Dismantling (ARTERD)
  4. i-graphite radioactive waste management,
  5. Medical Applications, Nuclear Technologies, Radiation Protection and Safety (MANTRAS), and
  6. Construction skill, expert knowledge, applied techniques, safe dismantling, fellowship training (BEAST)

These international and multidisciplinary projects serve as a platform to provide NEST fellows (Masters and PhD students and young professionals) with opportunities to develop their skills and gain practical experience under the supervision of leading experts in the domain, the NEST mentors.

NEA Chief Executive William D. Magwood addresses the 6th NEST Board Meeting in Paris.

In addition to hearing from Council members, the group welcomed observers from the International Atomic Energy Agency, the European Commission, the European Nuclear Education Network and the Generation IV International Forum, who presented the existing cooperation initiatives in partner organisations.

Over the two days, the group discussed the initial impact of the scholarships, feedback from the projects, the expansion of the framework – with Romania soon to become the eleventh NEST country – and the group’s plans to attract and support more women in the nuclear industry and increase synergies with the World Forum on Nuclear Education, Science, Technology and Policy

Discussions around ongoing NEST projects focused on Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) Fellows as part of HYMERES, the SMR ‘Press Pitch’ held in October in Toronto, Canada, the extension of the ARTERD project until the end of 2024 and the first BEAST summer school in Germany.

Board members will meet again in the spring of 2023 for their seventh NEST Board meeting.

Learn more about the NEST framework here.

Helen D. Jessen