Issue No. 31 Winter
(February 2011)


ENS News

Word from the President

How nuclear education has shaped the nuclear debate

ENS activities on Education & Training

European Nuclear Society in action

ESTet 2011

Training to instil a Safety Culture


TECNATOM: Training for excellence

Vattenfall nuclear competence management: Co-operation in support of safety and performance

KSU maintenance training in Barsebäck NPP


Developing skills for tomorrows leaders

Learning and Development at Westinghouse Electric Europe

URENCO Apprenticeships

Education and training at NUKEM Technologies GmbH

Education and training at Ansaldo Nucleare

Meeting EDF’s human capital challenge in sustaining a nuclear renaissance


Transfer of knowledge: education and training possibilities at the Belgian nuclear research centre SCK•CEN


EHRON: linking human resources supply to demand

Member Societies in action

Austria’s Contribution to EU Nuclear Education and Training

The Finnish Nuclear Society (ATS): Education and training

New plans for nuclear education in Spain as part of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA)

How to communicate to students about nuclear energy and job opportunities in the nuclear industry

The Nuclear Society of Slovenia – 20 years of international nuclear knowledge transfer

Young talents

What do young people say

„A taste of real life“ –an internship in a nuclear waste management company

ENS Members

Links to ENS Member Societies

Links to ENS Corporate Members

Editorial staff


Pime 2011

Pime 2011
13 - 16 February 2011 in Brussel, Belgium


RRFM 2011

RRFM 2011
20 -24 March 2011 in Rome, Italy


NESTet 2011

NESTet 2011
15 - 18 May 2011 in Prague, Czech Republic








"A taste of real life" – an internship in a nuclear waste management company


Elena Tamaseviciute





Study course:

2nd year of a Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering


University: École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich (ETHZ)

Target degree:

Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering

Career aspiration:

To become a highly qualified specialist in the field of nuclear engineering

Internet Conference

ENS NEWS: Why did you come to Switzerland to study?

Elena Tamaseviciute (ET): The second unit of the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant was closed at the end of 2009, but in the future Lithuania is planning to build a new, safer nuclear reactor. There is, therefore, an increasing demand for highly-qualified specialists in the field of nuclear engineering. Lithuanian universities have already started to offer study programmes such as Physics of Nuclear Energetics, but there is no doubt that the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETHZ) have much more experience in offering high-quality specialised education. When choosing a university, I thought that it would be extremely valuable for me to have some experience with the „zero power“ research reactor – CROCUS – at the EPFL, as it offers a unique possibility to see how a real reactor works. The fact that all the professors – Prof. Rakesh Chawla, Prof. Minh Quang Tran (EPFL), Prof. Wolfgang Kröger and Prof. Horst-Michael Prasser (ETHZ) – are active in scientific research is also very impressive.

ENS News: Why did you choose to major in nuclear science?

ET: The main reason for choosing nuclear science was that I believe that nuclear energy will be essential for meeting rapidly increasing energy demand and having a Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering gives me a good chance to find an opening in the nuclear industry, for example to take part either in the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant decommissioning process or in building a new nuclear reactor (plans for this are unfortunately stopped at present) - or to find a job somewhere in Europe.

ENS News:How did you find out about the internship at Nagra?

ET: As I was particularly interested in nuclear waste management, there were basically two attractive options for me: to stay in Switzerland and apply to the Swiss National Cooperative for the Disposal of Radioactive Waste (Nagra) or to approach the Lithuanian state enterprise Radioactive Waste Management Agency (RATA). There were two internship offers from Nagra on the website of the ETHZ Laboratory of Nuclear Energy Systems and I chose to gain my experience in Switzerland. Now, after my time at Nagra, I can say that I really chose the perfect place to do my internship.

ENS News: What did you do during your internship and how long was it?

ET: The internship lasted 3 months. My responsibilities included the development of Monte Carlo transport code (MCNP) models for spent fuel disposal containers, the co-development for other storage containers and NPP buildings, SF burnup calculations and the application of CorelDrawX4.

ENS News:How would you rank the usefulness of the internship for your academic studies?

ET: I obtained a good insight into and experience of some essential nuclear calculation tools and also other work-related tools. I had the chance to follow a small project from the beginning (problem definition, etc.) up to the very end (writing a report). I also took part in the daily work of a company active in the nuclear industry, meeting the pressure of deadlines, daily routine and so on. I believe that an internship is essential for students as it gives the possibility to deal with real problems - a taste of real life – rather than just sitting at university and trying to solve problems from a book.

ENS News: How is it going with your studies now?

ET: The last semester of my studies at university will start soon, during which I have to write my Master’s thesis. It would be very interesting and useful for me to continue at Nagra with a thesis subject that builds on my previous experience. It should be more challenging than my internship because of the complexity of the tasks involved and more demanding in terms of using my own initiative and responsibility to reach a successful solution.

ENS News: What are your plans for the future?

ET: After graduating from university, I would like to apply for a PhD position somewhere in Europe, preferably in Switzerland.

Nagra policy: Opportunities for Nuclear Education and Training – aims and infrastructure
Who will be recruited for internship / conditions?

  • - 1 or 2 students from the ETHZ / EPFL Nuclear Engineering Masters Programme (2nd year) for an internship of around three months duration (a cooperative agreement between the university chair and Nagra)

  • Students from other technical or scientific university courses

  • Hourly remuneration defined by Nagra’s general employment regulations

What type of work will be expected?

  • Participating in the daily work tasks of the supervising engineer or project manager

  • Responsibility for a small project from initiation through to delivery of a final product (i.e. report, poster, etc.)

  • Understanding of key work-related parameters such as quality, quantity and deadlines.

What is the benefit for the candidate?

  • Insight into the daily working life of employees of a company in the nuclear industry

  • Learning and using standard tools for nuclear calculations and conventional office software

  • Building up a contact network with external companies during daily work activities

  • Possibilities for internship extension, accompanied Master’s thesis or PhD position

  What is the benefit for the company?

  • Strengthening relationships with cooperating universities and schools

  • Low-risk evaluation of potential future employees

  • Using the experience gained and continuation of students’ work by extension of the internship or by an ensuing accompanied Master’s thesis

                        National Cooperative for the Disposal of Radioactive Waste
                        Hardstrasse 73
                        5430 Wettingen


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