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The ESARDA academic course on Nuclear Safeguards and Non-Proliferation is co-organised by the JRC's Nuclear Safety and Security directorate and the ESARDA Training and Knowledge Management working group. The course is recognised by the European Nuclear higher Education Network.

The course is held by some of the leading experts in the field of nuclear safeguards to provide all students to opportunity to learn more about the general background of safeguards legislation, nuclear fuel cycle, verification technologies and the evolution of safeguards.

The course is hosted in the European Commission Joint Research Centre in Ispra (Italy) for the duration of one week. During the course, students are also shown the JRC facilities for laboratory visits.

Course Background

The knowledge retention problem in the nuclear fields was acknowledged by a.o. OECD (2000) (cf. Nuclear Education and Training: Cause for Concern). In accordance with Article 9 of the EURATOM Treaty and in reply to the dwindling teaching capacity in nuclear science and technology, the European Commission financed the set-up of the European Nuclear higher Education Network ENEN. This ENEN, a network of 37 Universities from 18 different EU Member States aims to provide a common qualification in nuclear engineering, with a mutual recognition and a facilitated mobility of teachers and started to deliver on the labour market young graduates with a Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering (MSNE). In order to establish an appropriate academic curriculum for students opting to specialise in the nuclear field, not only safety aspects but also safeguards aspects are to be embedded. E.g. imports and exports of nuclear technology and material a future engineer faces are strongly regulated by a.o. international Non Proliferation Treaties and Agreements and by Safety Conventions. Since Nuclear Safeguards so far are not covered in the standard curriculum of a MSNE, the ESARDA launched the initiative of developing under a new Working Group for Training and Knowledge Management (cf. Bulletin n° 32) safeguards course modules. The course syllabus is under draft, to underpin the recognition of the course as standard in the MSNE curriculum by ENEN.

Academic recognition:

This course addresses in particular on the first group of participants: students with specialisation in the nuclear field. This group is of major importance for knowledge retention and enrolling the younger generation in the nuclear safeguards field. The course is recognised by the European Nuclear Education Network,

Scope and content of the course:

The basic information and subjects to be covered by the course/conference modules are:
 

  • general background in legislation on safeguards relevant treaties and agreements in the EU and world-wide (survey, responsibilities of national and international institutions, situating nuclear safeguards in the overall Non Proliferation system);
  • the nuclear fuel cycle: survey of technologies from mining to the final repository;
  • basic principles of nuclear safeguards (accountancy and verification according to a structure of material balance areas, containment & surveillance, implementation of the safeguards principles in the nuclear fuel cycle);
  • verification technologies (measurements and instrumentation): analytical techniques (destructive and non destructive assay), sealing, surveillance and monitoring techniques;
  • evolution of safeguards approaches (strengthening of safeguards, integrated safeguards, Additional Protocol).