JRC launches initiatives to preserve and upgrade nuclear sector skills
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission (EC) conducts projects in order to preserve, consolidate and disseminate nuclear knowledge, which are closely in support of the EC’s Directorate-General for Energy (DG ENER) and complementary to the DG for Research and Innovation (DG RTD) activities.
Trends such as workforce ageing and phasing out of nuclear power plants in some EU Member States could jeopardize important knowledge on nuclear maintenance and preservation if no action is taken.
Because competent and highly educated human resources are one of the prerequisites to ensure safe operation of the nuclear installations in the EU, the JRC launched, on 16 December 2011, the European Human Resource Observatory for the Nuclear Energy Sector (EHRO-N) and the European Nuclear Safety and Security School (EN3S).
Both initiatives are aimed at preserving and upgrading skills in the nuclear field in the European Union.
EHRO-N, an initiative of the European Nuclear Energy Forum (ENEF), is an instrument to monitor short, medium and long-term needs of human resources and expertise for the different stakeholders in nuclear energy and nuclear safety. By creating a database of nuclear skills and competences needed and by identifying strengths, gaps and deficiencies in the educational and training infrastructure, EHRO-N should inform and give recommendations to all those involved in the supply and demand for nuclear human resources in the EU.
JRC’s objective is to make its nuclear research facilities more accessible for graduate and post-graduate training and education programmes in Europe. In collaboration with leading European universities JRC aims to establish a unique set of educational tracks, one of which is the EN3S educational track, that offer specialisation in fields of nuclear security and safety, nuclear materials, nuclear data, and actinide science. These tracks will enable students to get hands-on experience in JRC's unique and specialised nuclear laboratories and participate to cutting-edge research, increasing the value of their curriculum significantly. EN3S will offer specialisation topics strongly related to the nuclear fuel cycle, for which the handling of nuclear materials in practical quantities is a prerequisite.