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Non-nuclear energy


Fission and radiation protection

European Nuclear Decommissioning Training Facility II

Safety in the nuclear industry is paramount at all stages during operational activities and continuing through to decommissioning. There are currently over 400 nuclear power plants operating around the world, all of which will require decommissioning in a safe and efficient manner. The primary aim of the EUNDETRAF(II) project is to pool knowledge and expertise in the field of nuclear decommissioning from acknowledged European experts and then disseminate it to the wider nuclear industry to improve safety standards and European competitiveness.

Consolidating decommissioning experience

Participants at the first course (Courtesy: SCK-CEN)
Participants at the first course (Courtesy: SCK-CEN)
The EUNDETRAF II project is a follow-up to the initial EUNDETRAF project organised under FP5. Its primary objective is to bring together the vast existing skill base in Europe on decommissioning nuclear facilities and to consolidate this experience for easy assimilation and transfer to future generations who will need to use it. To maintain high safety standards and protect public health, a sufficient number of qualified and skilled people will be required continuously by industries, regulators and agencies working in the nuclear sector.

An additional objective of the project is the dissemination of existing theoretical and practical know-how to personnel from third countries. A further aim is to bring together the principal decommissioning organisations in Europe to exchange information and experiences for mutual benefit, as well as to enhance the skill base and strengthen European competitivity in the world. The EUNDETRAF courses will target personnel who are involved in, or likely to be involved in, future decommissioning activities as project managers, project engineers, health physicists, technical consultants and other roles including administrators, regulators and anyone who would like to know more about decommissioning activities and associated processes.

EUNDETRAF represents a consortium of the 11 main European organisations representing educational establishments, nuclear industry operators, R&D organisations and regulatory bodies.

Creating training courses, transferring know-how

The whole project is split into a number of different aspects to ensure maximum value in the final training courses. A promotional leaflet is one of the main means of promoting the courses and describes course content, gives contacts for further information, and includes a registration form. Attendees at the course receive a professionally produced textbook – this and other course material needs to be written and produced within the project. Two courses are envisaged and the content will be reviewed between them to ensure that they reflect new developments and best practice as they happen. The content will also be adapted following peer review, including feedback from attendees. To improve its quality, the course will undergo a peer review by experts from CEA/INSTN, a department of the CEA which has a lot of experience in organising courses.

Each training course will comprise a one-week theoretical and one-week practical component. The theoretical part is aimed at a broader audience with a maximum number of participants limited to around 50. It will consist primarily of classroom presentations by recognised experts covering all aspects of decommissioning. In addition, there will be group discussions and participation in desktop exercises on decommissioning problems. Each participant will receive a textbook covering all the lecture materials as well as handouts of power point presentations at the beginning of the course. The practical component will include visits to decommissioning sites and inspection of decommissioning activities. This part of the course will be available to a smaller number of participants, probably a maximum of eight, and places will be allocated on "first come, first served" basis. The first course was organised by the French partner at the end of 2004 at Saclay near Paris. The second course will be organised by the Italian partner SOGIN in May 2006. Further courses, using the content developed under EUNDETRAF, may be organised in other European countries as self-supporting events to further disseminate the existing knowledge.

Best practice shared, new generation trained

The main result will be the successful organisation of two two-week training courses where up to +/- 60 delegates from across Europe and beyond will receive the best possible education on decommissioning theory and/or practise.

Increased health and safety, employment opportunities

EUNDETRAF II will contribute to improvement in employment opportunities in two ways. It will retrain people from nuclear (and conventional) power plants which have ceased operation into new specialisations required for decommissioning operations. In addition, the EUNDETRAF programme can train or at least give exposure to new entrants in the nuclear industry in the latest decommissioning techniques and procedures so that they can be employed in the decommissioning industry.

By training the participants in the methods of using the latest techniques and practices of decommissioning within the accepted framework of the ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) principle, the EUNDETRAF II participants become aware and knowledgeable in the implementation of decommissioning projects in a safe and environmentally clean way. This will have a positive impact on the health of both the decommissioning workforce themselves and also on the public. This will also ensure a minimal impact of decommissioning activities on the environment.

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