FNCA 2014 Workshop on Human Resources Development
July 2-4 2014
Mr. Norov Tegshbayar, Director General, Nuclear Energy Agency of Mongolia, extended welcome remarks. This was followed by opening remarks by Dr. Sueo MACHI, FNCA Coordinator of Japan and Dr. Tsukasa YAMAMURA, Director, Office for Nuclear Non-Proliferation Science and Technology, Research and Development Bureau, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). The WS agenda was adopted without change. Participants introduced themselves.
Dr. S. Machi introduced recent achievement of FNCA activities, as well as "Conclusion and Recommendation" which was adopted in 15th FNCA Coordinators Meeting. Then Dr. Kiyonobu Yamashita, Project Leader of Japan, summarized past activities of this HRD project.
During session 2, each participant gave country report on;
・ National policy of nuclear HRD
・ Action plan to follow the HRD policy
・ Collaboration between university, nuclear research institute and utilities for better
・ Challenges and obstacles in implementation of HRD action plan
・ Possible and desirable support of international cooperation for improving national
・ Training nuclear communicators and engaging social scientists for better
・ Filling the knowledge and experience gap between young and more experienced
・ Training nuclear power experts
Summary of each report is attached in Annex 1.
Round Table Discussion 1 "Obstacle/Challenges of Implementation of National HRD Plan, and Roles of International Cooperation"
The discussion began after short presentation by Dr. S. Machi entitled "Main Stream of Nuclear Human Resource Development (NHRD);
1. Dr. S. Machi emphasized the important roles played by universities in NHRD. Because upon graduation, the graduates would join nuclear-related companies. The quality of the graduates is very important in determining the quality of their service to the companies.
In this regard, technical support organizations (TSOs) should also play their role in supporting the universities for education and training (E & T). In addition, TSOs also conduct their own training program.
2. The issue is how to get good lecturers/professors. 50 to 60 years ago Japan sent many nuclear scientists to UK, USA, France etc. to have them gain experience/training in science and technology. Upon returning back, they joined universities as well as research institutes.
Another important issue is how to regulate the safety and to set up regulation system for nuclear power program in newcomer countries. It was proposed that the newcomer countries send their nuclear-related personnel to advanced countries like Japan, Republic of Korea, China etc. in order to learn these issues.
3. In case of Thailand, in order to close the gap between the requirements of the universities and companies, lecturers/professors need to have hands-on experience in related fields.
4. The issue of funding for NHRD has also been raised. Bangladesh and Vietnam, expect 1st pouring of concrete for the construction of nuclear power plants to be in 2014 and 2017, respectively, but their trained human resources are not ready yet. Vietnam Gov't. has put aside USD100 million for her NHRD. China sent 100 specialists to be trained in France in nuclear related field when the government imported the 1st NPP from France.
5. Dr. Yamashita of Japan proposed for newcomer countries to include in their training program the design aspects of research reactor, thus to avoid complete reliance on vendor countries.
Each country reported their status of national nuclear HRD network activities, focusing on;
・ Updated status of national nuclear HRD network
・ Future activities of the network
・ Improvement of the network
・ Benefits of network
Round Table Discussion 2 "How to strengthen national nuclear HRD network activities"
It was confirmed that HRD network was officially established in four countries, namely Japan, Korea, Malaysia and Thailand. Dr. Yamashita requested the participants to inform the secretariat of update of focal points, if any. Dr. S. Machi proposed to convene a meeting among focal points of member countries if funds are available. It was agreed to spend more time to discuss about network, since information on activities and function of other countries' network are useful reference.
Dr. Yamamura presented the MEXT's programs provided to support Asian countries including FNCA member countries with their capacity building in the field of nuclear energy and radiation application. Those programs include Instructor Training Program (ITP) and Nuclear Researchers Exchange Program (NREP).
After the presentation, the representatives were asked to provide suggestions to possibly improve the existing programs. Dr. Dahlan Bin HJ MOHD from Malaysia wondered if it is possible to introduce the course on reactor design. Dr. S. Machi stated that because design of the power reactor is responsibility of vendors, it is not suitable subject for the training under the government sponsorship. However, MEXT can assist member countries by providing training programs in basic and fundamental field necessary for introduction on NPP. Dr. Shamsub from Thailand Institute of Nuclear Technology (TINT), Chairperson of Session 4-1, reiterated the point that assistance in the conceptual design of a reactor can also be obtained from IAEA. Expanding program on communication and marketing was requested. Participants were encouraged to send opinion on how to improve the programs via e-mail, if any.
Nuclear Safety Research Association (NSRA) made presentation on current status of Asian Nuclear Training and Education Program (ANTEP), where the results of ANTEP survey and the status of cooperation between member countries were shown.
In order to increase application to HRD programs via ANTEP website, room for improvement in communication was shown, for example, if one of FNCA member country has a program which may be useful for another country, the countries should contact each other any time. It was also suggested that member countries conduct ANTEP questionnaire survey on HRD programs by rotation but no consensus was reached.
Dr. S. Machi summarized the outcomes of HRD project for the past 14 years as follows;
1. Information sharing/exchange on HRD program of member countries at the level of section heads who are responsible for practical HRD program. Through this, member countries are able to improve their HRD program.
2. ANTEP website by the proposal from MEXT. But ANTEP is mainly used for MEXT's NREP, and is not expanding. It is possible to find good matching between FNCA member countries in ANTEP database, but it is not implemented due to lack of funds or support to trainees in each country.
3. Presenting "Recommendation on HRD" to the 13th FNCA Ministerial Level Meeting. HRD project elaborated the recommendation, so that higher level including Ministers could recognize the importance of HRD for development of nuclear technology. So far, this recommendation is not very effective in many countries, except Vietnam which has concrete plan for nuclear power.
4. National nuclear HRD network. Most of FNCA countries are making appropriate effort to make it effectively work. In some countries including Japan, Korea, Malaysia and Thailand, the network is established officially.
Participants discussed whether to continue the WS as before.
Dr. S. Machi proposed to have one WS on HRD policy every 3 years in member countries, where senior level managers responsible for the national HRD policy should participate to exchange views and information on the policy. And he also proposed that in years in between, the project will have two topical WS which should focus on the specific important issues, where officers and experts engaging in the field of topics should participate. And the participants to topical WS should disseminate new information / train experts /consider training program in their home countries.
And then, the participants discussed about possible topics, and following topics were raised;
(1) Nuclear communication strategy and implementation including nuclear communicators' training program
(2) Research and development of small and medium (module) reactor for nuclear power in terms of possible advantages over conventional large capacity nuclear power reactors
The selection of the topics will be finalized by the 16th Coordinators Meeting.
Dr. S. Machi presented the draft of the "Conclusion and Recommendation of FNCA HRD WS", and it was reviewed and amended. It is decided that the final version would be circulated to the participants after the WS. Final version of"Conclusion and Recommendation of FNCA HRD WS" is attached in Annex 2.
Closing remarks were delivered by Ms. Moe Aoki, Researcher, International Nuclear Cooperation Division, Research and Development Bureau, MEXT, and by Dr. S. Machi, respectively.
Open Seminar on "Nuclear Power/Radiation Application Program and Human Resources Development"
Open seminar was held at State Veterinary Institute on 4 July. First of all, Dr. Yamamura delivered opening remarks.
Then Dr. S. Machi reviewed the world's and Japan's situation surrounding nuclear power. Mr. Mavag Chadraabal, Director of the Nuclear Technology Dept. of NEA explained about organizational structure and status for uranium mining and introduction of NPP. Prof. Dr. Kazuhiko Kudo from Kyushu University introduced nuclear education in Japanese universities, where he elaborated what kind of education and research is available in respective universities. Dr. Nam Young-Mi from Korean Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) made presentation on research and development for nuclear safety and advanced nuclear systems. Ms. Yang Yaxin from East China Institute of Technology, summarized development of nuclear power in China, as well as challenges and solutions of nuclear HRD. Mr. Falconi M. Soetarto from National Nuclear Energy Agency (BATAN) of Indonesia explained about their efforts toward NPP introduction and HRD for it. Lastly, Dr. Dahlan Bin HJ MOHD from Malaysia Nuclear Agency introduced their facilities and actual cases of radiation application, including sago starch hydrogel, heat shrinkable tube, overprint varnishes, and so on.
After the Open Seminar, a technical visit was conducted at the State Central Institute of Veterinary.
Annex 1: Summary of Country Reports
Bangladesh recognizes that HRD is an important key for introduction of NPP. Dhaka University (DU) introduced its Department of Nuclear Engineering with 26 students, in 2012. And DU is working for MoU under which the students of nuclear engineering will be able to access facilities of BAEC. And also Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) included nuclear engineering course to their curricula. Furthermore, as a part of the strategy to develop nuclear oriented generations in the country, topics on nuclear energy have been introduced in the curriculum of Secondary/ Higher Secondary education system.
As a national policy, it was stated that China places equal emphasis on development and security. HRD is regarded an important factor for both nuclear power and fuel cycle development, however current HRD cannot meet the needs of the rapid development of nuclear power industry. Both colleges and enterprises take charge of HRD for NPP.
In Indonesia, gap of competency and experiences between senior and junior staff have to be seriously considered and anticipated with development of NKM system. And standard training module for nuclear communicator needs to be developed in order to gain better public understanding and stakeholder involvement. Although political decision on embarking the NPP has not been taken yet, the training for NPP personnel should be continued.
In order to maintain high level human resources, Japan established Japan Nuclear HRD Network (JN-HRD), which provides training programs internally and internationally, and cooperates with universities, industries, research institutes and prefectures where nuclear facilities are located.
Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) of Japan actively works for education to young generation through publishing sub-textbooks for school educations.
Kazakhstan is on the point to begin the construction of nuclear power plant. But up to now it is not quite clear what kind of reactor will be chosen, its capacity, location and the degree of industrial involvement to the project. Therefore it is not possible to have validated plan of nuclear human resources development.
Nevertheless the government recently began to pay much attention to the problem at least in a view of increasing the number state grants for the students of bounded specialties and development of necessary regulation body.
To have plans for broad application of nuclear and radiation technologies the positive attitude of the population is very important. Government is issuing a magazine entitled "Human Energy Atom".
According to the 4th Comprehensive Nuclear Energy Promotion Plan (CNEP), the government reaffirmed its commitment to expand utilization of nuclear energy, ensuring the highest level of nuclear safety.
In order to collaborate in the field of nuclear HRD policy and programs, and to initiate whole-national nuclear education and training programs, the national HRD network was established in June 2011. 21 member institutions from industry, R&D related institutes, and universities are involved in it.
Issues on safety/security culture, stakeholder involvement, project management and effectiveness of education and training have come to light.
According to the New National Energy Policy, nuclear energy as a longer term option will be considered in Malaysia, with detailed feasibility study, training of human capital & awareness campaigns. Nuclear Malaysia supports national HRD, as one of main TSO's. Since the government has yet to endorse nuclear policy, there is no common national HRD development strategy. These are the challenges and obstacles in the implementation of national HRD. In the meantime, Malaysia conducts wide ranging activities for stake holder involvement, such as public talk, social media, school visit, science camp, etc.
For introduction of nuclear technology, and for exploitation of radioactive minerals, HRD is the priority task of the Mongolian government. Yet, nuclear specialists in Mongolia are not so many, there are overall 200 people working in the nuclear fields. Mongolia's current situations require new type of specialists who are related to communication and policy making. Expertise on international law in nuclear energy field and treaty/conventions are also needed.
Department of Science and Technology (DOST) formulate policies, programs and projects to support scientific activities. DOST has around $10 million for graduate degree scholarship for HRD of science and technology. HRD for nuclear power cannot be in full swing without the national position, but Inter-Agency Core Group on Nuclear Energy studies on nuclear power as a long term energy option. Staffs of regulatory body are aging, so recruitment and training of new personnel should be strongly supported by the government. Training for regulatory staffs through international/regional cooperation would be helpful.
NPP project was postponed. Therefore, HRD for NPP has been diminished substantially. There is no formal nuclear HRD policy, so TINT should take initiative in nuclear HRD. And Thai HRD network requires closer collaboration with members. Public do not have much interest in nuclear power and technology. Effective public communication is needed for Thailand.
Vietnam has National Scheme on Human Resource Development (HRD) in the Field of Atomic Energy, and the government recognizes the necessity to strengthen competence for training and education. It is required to obtain high quality students, lecturers, and experts. Every year, Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) organizes the training course on nuclear communicators, inviting social scientists. Now Vietnam is preparing Nuclear Energy Specialists Training program (NEST), focusing on sending leaders of research abroad, in order to promote NPP project.
Annex 2: Conclusion and Recommendation of FNCA HRD Workshop (July 2-4, 2014, Mongolia)
1. The meeting reiterated that the government should give high priority on nuclear HRD in terms of policy and finance.
2. The meeting noted from the country reports that the Member Countries are making an effort to enhance the HRD for both areas of radiation application and nuclear power, and that the Member Countries who are newcomers in nuclear power have obstacles in HRD because of shortage of experienced instructors or trainers.
3. The meeting recognized, in the above mentioned view, the importance of the international cooperation by the countries with experience of nuclear power to support HRD of nuclear power in the newcomer countries.
4. The meeting appreciated, in this connection, the training programs provided by Gov'ts. of Japan and Korea in the nuclear power related areas and urged further strengthening of these programs to meet increasing demand.
5. The meeting noted the statements of some countries that it is difficult to get the special allocation of funds and the policy for nuclear HRD before the solid decision by the government for construction of nuclear power plant.
6. The meeting, however, pointed out that HRD for nuclear power needs long period of time, and therefore, the government should start nuclear HRD as early as practicable to avoid delay of the preparation of necessary human resources.
7. The meeting pointed out that the increasing importance of training nuclear communicators with the stakeholders because of concerns on the safety of nuclear power plant operation due to the Fukushima nuclear power accident.
8. The meeting noted that some Member Countries are facing difficulty in transferring nuclear experience and knowledge from senior experts to young generation, and proposed to arrange a special session in the Workshop to exchange views on the nuclear knowledge management to fill the gap between the two generations.
9. The meeting noted that the national nuclear HRD network has been officially set up in Korea, Japan, Malaysia and Thailand, and other Member Countries are the process of preparing the official set-up of this network.
10. The meeting encouraged that directors/secretariat of hub of the national HRD networks of Member Countries to hold a meeting to share experience and information about effective ways of operation.
11. The meeting recognized that ANTEP is a good mechanism of finding a match between HRD demand and offered program.
12. The meeting urged the Member Countries to make an effort to provide funds to expand ANTEP program to meet HRD needs.
13. The meeting appreciated MEXT for the on-going international HRD programs to support developing countries, such as the nuclear scientists exchange program (NREP), and the instructor training program (ITP) including the instructor training course (ITC) as well as the follow-up training course (FTC), and seminars on nuclear plant safety, atomic energy administration, basic knowledge of radiation and site location of nuclear facility. The great contribution of MEXT's international HRD programs has enabled nuclear researchers/engineers of recipient countries to gain both basic and advanced experience in the above different areas in nuclear science and technology.
14. The meeting agreed that the workshop on HRD to exchange views and information on HRD policy and implementation plan should be held every 3 years with the participation of high level officials responsible for the national HRD policy. The workshop may prepare recommendation on HRD policy for submission to the Ministerial Meeting if appropriate.
15. The meeting agreed that HRD workshops in years between the above high level officials' meeting should focus on specific important topics and relevant HRD policy, where senior officers and experts engaging in the field of topics should participate. The participants should report possible national policy and plan including HRD in the respective topics.
16. The meeting proposed the following specific topics to be taken up at the above workshops: (1) nuclear communication strategy and implementation including nuclear communicators' training program, (2) research and development of small and medium (module) reactor for nuclear power in terms of possible advantages over conventional large capacity nuclear power reactors,
17. The meeting suggested that the selection of the specific topic for the next HRD workshop should be finalized by the next Coordinators Meeting
18. The meeting appreciated Gov't. of Korea for providing the training programs to support the HRD of Asian countries in the area of nuclear power and application.
19. The meeting suggested that above mentioned MEXT HRD programs should take into account the needs of the Member Countries in terms of its matching with the specific needs of recipient countries and their representatives should send specific comments for improving any of MEXT HRD programs if any.
20. The meeting noted that the FNCA information data base of matching the training program and need of training is not well used by the Member Countries, and encouraged Member States to make more effective uses of the ANTEP data base.