Within the framework of the General Assembly of the European Nuclear Education Network (ENEN), which took place in early March in Brussels, representatives of the Rosatom Technical Academy discussed the possibilities of implementing a joint project providing mobility for young specialists, students and faculty from Europe and Russia. The project will be based on the ENEN-RU Forum established in 2019 as a framework agreement on cooperation in education and training in the field of nuclear science and technology. According to the results of the joint work of the ENEN-RU Forum in 2019, 13 young specialists from ENEN organizations took part in Rosatom Tech’s courses with the subsequent granting of ECTS credits.
A landmark event of the current General Assembly was the speech of Dr. Elena Righi-Steele, Head of Research at the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM), given at the special event “Forecasting EU Activities in Nuclear Education, Further Training and Knowledge Management”. ENEN is the main tool of EURATOM for educational and scientific cooperation and youth involvement in the industry, which is emphasized by the regular representation of senior management of EURATOM research programs at key ENEN events and the General Assembly.
Based on the presentations by Dr. Righi-Steele and European partners, the following topics could be identified for the development of ENEN-RU cooperation:
- Innovative reactor technologies, Gen-IV (SMR, fast reactors);
- Energy systems planning and assessment;
- Transmutation of radioactive waste and advanced NFC;
- Non-power application in medicine, agriculture and material science;
- Decommissioning of nuclear power plants;
- Involvement of youth and cooperation with schools.
An important milestone in the development of ENEN was a change in its leadership at the Assembly. During the voting ceremony, a key team was identified that will lead the European Network in the near future: President – Jörg Starflinger (Germany), Vice President – Csilla Pesznyák (Hungary), Executive Director – Gabriel Pavel (Romania).
On the second day of the Assembly, a solemn ceremony of admission of Moscow State University to ENEN was held. Now it is the fourth Russian educational institution that is member of ENEN, along with the Rosatom Technical Academy, the National Research Nuclear University MEPhI and Tomsk Polytechnic University. The plans to expand the membership of ENEN with the inclusion of a larger number of Russian universities, coordinated by Rosatom Tech, were announced at ENEN-RU meeting last year.
As part of its speech at the General Assembly, Rosatom Tech presented the opportunities for developing Russian-European cooperation in the field of education and research in the framework of ENEN-RU Forum, recorded in 2019 at the 9th European Commission Conferences on Research and Training in Safety of Reactor Systems and Radioactive Waste Management (FISA2019 and EURADWASTE’19). As the next joint steps, the parties agreed to work out the possibility of conducting a joint research internship on the topic of Gen-IV reactors and transmutation of radioactive waste; to prepare the next meeting with the ENEN administration on the sidelines of the IAEA International Conference on NKM and HRD in Moscow; to hold an ENEN-RU Forum meeting as part of the celebration events dedicated to the 75th Anniversary of Nuclear Power Industry of the Russian Federation in Sochi; to hold a side event dedicated to ENEN-RU cooperation at the European Nuclear Society’s Conference “NESTet 2020”. In addition, the parties discussed the possibility of participation of ENEN representatives as lecturers and trainees at Rosatom Tech’s courses, in particular, at the International ROSATOM School on Nuclear Capacity Building.
During the visit of the Rosatom Tech’s delegation to Brussels, a meeting was held with the leadership of the Russian Centre for Science and Culture in Brussels. The meeting discussed issues of developing cooperation in the field of academic education and interaction in the scientific sphere.
The European Nuclear Education Network, (ENEN) is an international nonprofit organization established in 2003. The main purpose of the ENEN Association is the preservation and the further development of expertise in the nuclear fields by higher education and training in Europe. This objective is realized through the co-operation between universities, research organisations, regulatory bodies, the industry and any other organizations involved in the application of nuclear science and ionizing radiation.
The first ENEN-RU project was initiated by Euratom in 2008 through a sub-group 5 (Education and Training) of the Euratom-ROSATOM Working Group on cooperation in nuclear fission research. It is important to note that among the ENEN non-European cooperation projects, the ENEN-RU project was considered the most successful. The ENEN-RU received high marks from the European Commission and the project was recommended for prolongation in the format of ENEN-RU II (2014-2017).
Within the framework of the International Forum ATOMEXPO-2019, ENEN and the Rosatom Technical Academy signed a Memorandum of Cooperation on establishment of the Joint Nuclear Education and Training Forum in Nuclear Science and Technology (ENEN-RU Forum).