At the end of May Rosatom Technical Academy together with the European Nuclear Education Network (ENEN) organized a Kick-off meeting of the “ENEN-RU Joint Working Group”.
The main objectives of the event were to have an update of the proposals of the parties in educational and research areas, to expand the composition of the Joint Working Group (JWG) and to shape the parameters of joint educational projects, including joint educational programs in five areas: innovative reactor technologies, advanced nuclear fuel cycles, decommissioning and management of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste, planning and assessment of energy systems, non-power applications of nuclear and radiation technologies.
“It is very important that the internationalization is going on and the collaboration on education and training will develop in the future, – said ENEN President Professor Jörg Starflinger in his speech. – Under the new framework of the ENEN-RU Joint Working Group given the challenges at the European and global scale our joint activities will elaborate education, training, and research actions aimed at fostering capacity building, knowledge exchange, and preservation in the fields of advanced nuclear technologies in support of sustainable development of nuclear power as a clean and low-emission source and the non-power applications”.
The JWG was attended by 29 representatives from universities and industrial organizations from Russia and Europe, namely Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic., Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, and Slovenia. ROSATOM partner universities were represented by participants from National Research Nuclear University MEPhI, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Nizhniy Novgorod State Technical University, Tomsk Polytechnic University, Ural Federal University, Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University.
“Long-term interaction in the field of nuclear education, training, and scientific research confirms the relevance and importance of the direct dialogue between the Russian and European organizations, – outlined Valery Karezin, Director of the project office for Education development and international cooperation of ROSATOM. – A notable example of practical interaction was the creation of the ENEN-RU Joint Working Group. We consider this experience to be an important international initiative”.
The core of the JWG was formed from the Russian-European team that successfully implemented joint projects ENEN-RU I (2011-2013) and ENEN-RU II (2014-2017). Each project was aimed at developing cooperation and harmonizing approaches in the field of education on nuclear and related topics and was supported by the European Framework Programs for Research & Innovation and the ROSATOM’s project “International Cooperation in the field of Nuclear Education”. Within the framework of the ENEN General Assembly 2020 the ENEN-RU JWG was established, its composition was approved and the co-chairs from each side were appointed: ENEN Executive Director Gabriel PAVEL and Vice-Rector of the Rosatom Tech Pavel ZHURAVLEV.
“First of all, the ENEN-RU Joint Working Group is a practical basis for joint projects between Russian and European educational and research organizations, – explained Pavel Zhuravlev, vice-rector – director of the Department for International cooperation and international business development of Rosatom Technical Academy. – The work is aimed at building real interaction between the parties on five key topics in the field of advanced nuclear technologies. By the next event, scheduled for autumn, having the results of today’s meeting as a basis, we intend to prepare proposals for bilateral and multilateral projects for detailed study in groups”.
During the work of the ENEN-RU JWG Kick-off meeting, the European side expressed interest in topics related to SMR and their use for district heating, Generation-IV reactors and NPP safety issues. Non-power applications of nuclear energy, in particular, research reactors, medical physics, and materials irradiation techniques also aroused interest. Parties noted the practical significance of faculty members and students exchanges, scientific visits, development of joint educational programs, reciprocal accreditation of programs, and the need for greater involvement of the experimental facilities of Russian universities and industry organizations in the joint projects.
The next ENEN-RU JWG meeting will be held in Autumn 2021 in the format of the hybrid special event “Advanced Nuclear Technologies and their development through Educational and Academic Cooperation”.
The European Nuclear Education Network (ENEN) is an international organization founded in 2003 in France. Since 2018, ENEN has moved its activities to Belgium, closer to the institutions of the European Commission, and operates in accordance with Belgian law. The main goal of ENEN is to preserve and further develop nuclear expertise through higher education and training in Europe.
Today ENEN accounts for 79 members and partners from 25 countries, made up of a wide variety of organizations: 5 research centers, 9 companies, 55 universities, 1 technical support organization, and 9 international organizations.
The ENEN-RU I project was initiated by Euratom in 2008 through a sub-group 5 (Education and Training) of the EURATOM-ROSATOM Working Group on scientific and technical cooperation. The ENEN-RU I (2011-2013) received high marks from the European Commission and the project was recommended for prolongation in the format of ENEN-RU II (2014-2017).
Since 2017 Rosatom Tech has been the Russian side coordinator of cooperation with ENEN. Within the framework of the Atomexpo-2019 International Forum, ENEN and the Rosatom Technical Academy signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the establishment of a joint forum for education and training in nuclear science and technology (ENEN-RU Forum).