Over the last few years, education, training and knowledge management in nuclear science and technology have been very high priority, topical issues for the international community, notably in the context of a prospective nuclear renaissance. There is great concern that skilled manpower in sufficient quantities, as well as adequate infrastructures for collecting and disseminating information will not be available. In some countries, specific plans to support universities have been successful in reversing the declining trends of the number of graduates in nuclear engineering, whilst various international programmes have been initiated which strive to foster regional and trans-national co-operation and to improve educational infrastructure at universities, research institutes and industrial facilities in the nuclear field.
While significant progress has been triggered in some cases, strains in the human resources capacity remain strong. The retirement or impending retirement of many of the generation which built the existing nuclear power plants and were involved in nuclear R&D in the 1960s and 1970s enhances the risk that collective knowledge and experience of the nuclear industry may be lost over the next few years.
Against this backdrop, the NEA Committee for Technical and Economic Studies on Nuclear Energy Development and the Fuel Cycle (NDC) decided to undertake this activity on education, training and knowledge management.
The proposed NEST project BEAST addresses postgraduate students, postdoctoral researchers and young professionals, who intend to work in the field of Nuclear Decommissioning and Waste Management. The following issues are addressed in particular: