On 15-26 April the scientific visit to CICE&T of specialists from the People’s Republic of Bangladesh took place within the framework of the IAEA Technical Cooperation programme. The Bangladesh visitors took the 2-week training course on “Initialization of nuclear power programmes: NPP siting, reactor design and quality assurance”. Over this time period they had lectures on the following topics: Russian reactor technology and NPP design, engineering aspects of nuclear fuel manufacturing, licensing procedures during NPP siting and follow-up of the licenses issued, radiation safety for reactor units and safety culture issues. The theoretical course was conducted by the trainers from CICE&T, Scientific and Technical Center for Nuclear and Radiation Safety and Atomeneroproekt, among them Russian experts selected by JSC “Rusatom Oveseas” to assist countries-newcomers in establishing the nuclear infrastructure elements.
The theoretical part of the training process was supported by a facility visit to the operating NPP and the NPP under construction in Novovoronezh, the training centres of JSC “Atomtekhenergo” and JSC “Atomenergoremont”, and a technical tour to fuel fabrication plant JSC “MSZ” (Electrostal).
On completion of the training, a test was conducted which revealed high performance of the trainees. The feedback analysis shows that they were highly involved in the training process and gave a high rating to both the course and the instructors.
Following the ceremony of awarding the certificates and souvenirs, we asked Dr Debashis Datta, the Principal Engineer of the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission to share his impressions.
-What is your assessment of the level of training provided in CICE&T, training process organization and training conditions?
-We are very satisfied with the training organization: all handouts and training materials were provided in time, the staff is friendly and willing to help us. The instructors delivering lectures are highly qualified and tried to answer all our questions, even though we were asking many questions all the time and our questions were not always smart. The instructors were encouraging our interest and did their best to get across information and communicate with us in class. In general, the CICE&T instructors are professionals with ample experience, deep knowledge and open to communication.
-Was the training course useful for you, do you have experience in similar training to compare?
-While we had some theoretical knowledge before the visit, here could further develop it and obtain much more detailed information, which is very important for us at this point in time. As to our previous experience, I attended courses in Japan, Korea and some other countries. It is my pleasure to say that all the materials in CICE&T were appropriate, visual and informative. The communication competence of your instructors is of the highest esteem. The only thing I would recommend for Russia is providing a more open access to regulatory documents. At present, information we need is not always easily available. We would be pleased if access to such information is easier and takes less effort.
-Please say a few words about the conditions for accommodation, meals and your leisure time here. Did you have any tours and excursions?
-The conditions provided were comfortable. The hotel in which we stayed meets international standards, its staff is helpful and responsive. It was comfortable for us here. We were happy to be able to visit the NPP under construction in Novovoronezh and take photos of the extensive construction site. By the way, in other countries we were not allowed to take photos of NPPs under construction. We also had a tour of MSZ in Electrtostal. With overalls and shoe covers, carrying individual protective gear (masks and dosimeters), we were taken around the shops of the plant.
-What do you think of Obninsk?
-We like the city very much, as it is a city of science. Being representatives of science, we enjoyed walking and realizing that many remarkable scientists worked here. Even though we may not know much about them, they are better known here in Russia, it is good to get a feeling that you touched the history, being in a town where every building has scientific history or is associated with a renowned scientist. People living in the town are very friendly. We have not encountered any case of negative attitude towards us. Vice versa, everyone tried to help us, for instance, to identify the right stop when going by bus. My colleague wanted to buy a bag in Department Store, so a passer-by heard us speaking English and volunteered with interpretation to explain a shop assistant what we wanted. I was assisted in my dialogue with shop assistants many times. In a nutshell, residents of Obninsk are very friendly.
-Did you manage to get acquainted with Russia and its culture during your stay?
-We visited the town museum and had a tour of the town. Through a very qualified interpreter we learned about the beginning of nuclear power development which led to setting up the town. We heard about today’s achievements as well. Sightseeing was organized and we were shown around the town. We will certainly keep many good memories of our stay.