NEA press room

Press kit: Qualified human resources

There is growing concern about the difficulties nuclear institutions in many OECD/NEA member countries are experiencing in recruiting qualified specialists. Recent studies have also shown that nuclear education and training have been suffering declines of various degrees. If no action is taken on this issue, the nuclear sector risks facing a shortage of qualified manpower to ensure the appropriate regulation and operation of existing nuclear facilities as well as the construction of new ones in those countries wishing to do so.

The NEA Steering Committee for Nuclear Energy issued a statement on the issue in October 2007.

Statement by the NEA Steering Committee for Nuclear Energy regarding a government role in ensuring qualified human resources in the nuclear field

Supplemental information regarding the NEA Steering Committee for Nuclear Energy statement on qualified human resources

Related NEA reports, publications and articles

Nuclear energy: Skills and the safety contract
The public debate on nuclear safety usually focuses on issues like waste disposal or radiation. But what about skills and management? Article published in the OECD Observer.

Safe nuclear power plants: technical support services and contractors Sûreté des centrales nucléaires : services d'assistance technique et sous-traitants
A common concern to both regulators and the nuclear industry is the ongoing gradual loss of experienced and competent personnel in nuclear technology, and the resulting weakening of nuclear field organisations. Article published in NEA News.

Radiation Protection in Today's World: Towards Sustainability La radioprotection aujourd'hui et la voie du développement durable
This report concisely describes the CRPPH views of the most significant challenges to radiological protection policy, regulation and application that are likely to emerge or are already emerging. The section "Maintaining competence, transmission of inheritance" addresses the issue of ensuring enough radiological protection professionals are trained to meet future needs.

Nuclear Competence Building Développement des compétences dans le domaine de l'énergie nucléaire
This summary of the full report presents the main results of an international survey on initiatives launched during recent years in the area of nuclear education and training. Key human resource issues are discussed and good practices regarding international collaboration are identified.

Nuclear Competence Building Développement des compétences dans le domaine de l'énergie nucléaire
This report presents the results of an international survey on initiatives launched during recent years in the area of nuclear education and training. Key human resource issues are discussed and many good practices regarding international collaboration are identified.

Assuring Future Nuclear Safety Competencies Maintenir à l'avenir les compétences de sûreté nucléaire Mesures spécifiques
Maintaining nuclear safety competencies in nuclear regulatory authorities and the nuclear industry will be one of the most critical challenges to effective regulation of nuclear power in the coming decades. The challenge arises partly from the age profile of staff in the regulatory bodies, which could result in the loss of much of the present nuclear safety knowledge base due to retirements over the next decade or so, and partly from a decline in the numbers of students graduating from courses in nuclear science and engineering and becoming available for recruitment to fill the vacancies left by retirements.

CNRA/WGIP Document: Status Report on Regulatory Inspection Philosophy, Inspection Organisation and Inspection Practices,
Appendix IV of this report addresses the issue of regulatory authority staffing needs.

Nuclear Education and Training: Cause for Concern? Enseignement et formation dans le domaine nucléaire: faut-il s'inquiéter ?
This report is a summary of the study Nuclear Education and Training: Cause for Concern? below.

Nuclear Education and Training: Cause for Concern? Enseignement et formation dans le domaine nucléaire: faut-il s'inquiéter ?
Mankind now enjoys many benefits from nuclear-related technologies. There is, however, growing concern in many OECD countries that nuclear education and training is decreasing, perhaps to problematic levels. This publication conveys the results of a pioneering survey on nuclear education and training in almost 200 organisations in 16 countries. It presents the current situation and examines causes for concern. It also provides recommendations as to the actions that governments, academia and industry must take in order to ensure that crucial present requirements are met and future options are not precluded. Link to the OECD online bookshop.

CRPPH Document: Survey of University-level Education Programmes in Radiation Protection

Related links

OECD/NEA countries adopt a statement about qualified human resources in the nuclear field
NEA press release, 14 November 2007

NEA nuclear safety and regulation programme

NEA nuclear development programme

Last updated: 7 February 2008