NESTet 2013: Putting nuclear education and training at the heart of the debate
From 17 – 20 November 2013, over 120 people congregated at the Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, in the Spanish capital city, to take part in the ENS flagship conference NESTet 2013. NESTet conferences are dedicated to discussing all things related to education and training (E&T) in the nuclear sector. Among the participants, who came from many countries both in Europe and further afield (e.g. Japan, Australia, the US, South Africa, Singapore and Canada), were members of national nuclear societies and of ENS, educationalists and trainers, academics, researchers, officials from the European Commission, industry representatives, consultants and even a management psychologist. Jean-Pol Poncelet, Secretary General of ENS, gave the opening address before handing over to G Jimenez of the Spanish Young Generation, who gave an overview of the host country’s experience in the field of nuclear E&T.
The conference programme centred upon a number of plenary sessions and parallel workshops. Each one was followed by a questions and answers session and debate, which often spilled over into the coffee breaks and lunch breaks. Among the key issues discussed were: maintaining nuclear knowledge and competence within the EU; ensuring that nuclear education and training can stimulate young professionals to pursue a career in nuclear; the very latest academic programmes, training courses and educational tools; redressing the deficiencies in E&T provision; the problems, challenges and approaches specific to certain countries (both in Europe and abroad), training the trainers; the harmonisation of E&T needs across Europe; the interaction between nuclear E&T and civil society and E&T needs for new build.
On the final day of the conference participants were able to choose from two technical visits - one to the facilities of Tecnatom, a Spanish company specialising in nuclear technologies and services, and the other to the Zorita (Jose Cabrera) NPP.
In the next edition of ENS NEWS, N° 43, more detailed reports on NESTet will be provided. So, don’t forget to read more about this important international ENS conference.