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OECD NEA global nuclear science and engineering commencement

OECD NEA global nuclear science and engineering commencement

Due to the ongoing restrictions caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus (COVID-19), many nuclear students are not able to participate in traditional diploma ceremonies. In order to draw the world’s attention to the new generation of nuclear specialists, on August 27, 2020, the Nuclear Energy Agency of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD NEA), with the support of the European Nuclear Education Network (ENEN), organized an online event to celebrate and recognize the achievements of graduation classes in 2020 and 2021 in the field of nuclear science and technology. Employees of the Moscow branch of the Rosatom Technical Academy joined the event and supported the initiative of the OECD NEA and the ENEN network, of which the Technical Academy has been a member since 2010. 

The ceremony was opened by William Magwood IV, NEA Director General. In his speech, Mr. Magwood IV noted the critical importance of nuclear science and technology in addressing climate issues and the future contribution of graduates to industry development. He urged everyone to be responsible, proud of their work and allow themselves to dream. Then Rita Baranwal, Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy at the United States Department of Energy, made solemn performances and parting words for the graduates, Anne White, Professor and Head of Nuclear Science and Engineering Division at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Agneta Rising, Director General of the World Nuclear Association and President of the World Nuclear University, Chris Levesque, President and Chief Executive Officer of TerraPower, and Joerg Starflinger, ENEN President and Executive Director of the University of Stuttgart Institute of Nuclear Technology and Energy System. Chris Levesque in his speech read out a solemn speech to graduates from Bill Gates, the founder of TerraPower.

The ceremony was completed by performances by graduates of this year: Katie Mummah, MS Class of 2020 and PhD student in Nuclear Engineering and Physics at University of Wisconsin-Madison, in her speech noted the floating nuclear power plant «Academic Lomonosov» as an innovative breakthrough in nuclear energy. It is important to note that the crew of the first floating nuclear power plant in Russia underwent theoretical training at the Rosatom Technical Academy since 2015, the completion of which allowed them to begin internships directly at work places. Katie also mentioned the development of the American company Oklo – Microreactor and the construction of the Barakah NPP in the UAE. Haruka Okazaki, undergraduate nuclear engineering student at the University of Fukui Graduate School of Engineering, spoke about her motivation to work in the nuclear industry. After the accident at Fukushima NPP, Haruka decided to contribute to the development of nuclear energy. In high school, Haruka had the opportunity to study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which inspired and supported her motivation.

The Technical Academy also supports the scientific development of employees and follows the global trend of increasing the number of women in technical fields. This year, two employees of the Moscow branch of the International Training Center Anastasiia Shcherbaneva and Anastasiia Zherebilova entered the graduate school of the leading nuclear university of Russia – NRNU MEPhI. In 2020, Milana Ozerina, a student of the Institute of International Relations of NRNU MEPhI, joined the Moscow branch of the International Training Center for the further development of her competencies in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).