EU Science Hub

EHRO-N

The EU Energy Roadmap 2050 identifies nuclear energy as one of the routes to achieve the decarbonisation the EU energy system. Today, nuclear energy is the decarbonisation option providing the most of the low-carbon electricity consumed in the EU.  However, the Nuclear Energy Sector is faced with some challenges in relation to preserving knowledge and skills in the sector.

The European Human Resource Observatory for the Nuclear energy sector (EHRO-N) was launched in 2011 based on an initiative from the European Nuclear Energy Forum (ENEF). The main aim of EHRO-N is to be the "the central information source" for all stakeholders in the EU interested in the optimization of the initiatives taken in relation to preservation of knowledge and skills in the nuclear energy sector.

EHRO-N produces and regularly updates quality-assured data on human resources needs for the different stakeholders in nuclear energy sector. It identifies gaps and deficiencies in the European nuclear education and training (E&T) infrastructures and elaborates recommendations for remedial actions and optimisation. EHRO-N also plays an active role in the development of a European scheme for mutual recognition of nuclear qualifications - the European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET).

Background

The situation concerning nuclear human resource has deteriorated in the EU in the past decades and there is a risk of the loss of important nuclear knowledge and skills if no action is taken. This prompted the Council of the EU to conclude, on 1 December 2008, that it is “essential to maintain in the European Union a high level of training in the nuclear field” and, at the same time, preserve the skills that we already have.

On 16 September 2011, the European Commission published its "First situation report on education and training in the nuclear energy in the European Union", mentioning EHRO-N as "the central information source" for all nuclear stakeholders in the EU interested in the optimization of the initiatives taken.

The idea of a European Human Resources Observatory for the Nuclear Energy Sector (EHRO-N) emerged within the European Nuclear Energy Forum (ENEF), which was launched by the European Commission’s Directorate General for Energy (DG ENER). The setting up of EHRO-N began in October 2009. The European Commission’s Directorate General Joint Research Centre (DG JRC) was charged with its implementation and day to day management.

Objectives

  • Produce and regularly update a quality-assured data base on the short-, medium- and long-term needs of human resources for the different stakeholders in nuclear energy and nuclear safety. The data should be structured according to the required qualifications (i.e. disciplines and specializations, main non-academic and academic levels, need for specific practical skills or theoretical knowledge) and allow proper analyses on the trends to be performed.
  • Review existing data from national, sectorial reports to ensure consistency with European energy supply strategies and medium- and long-term developments of the l nuclear sector.
  •  Identify gaps and deficiencies in the European nuclear Education and Training infrastructures and elaborate recommendations for remedial actions and optimizations.
  • Play an active role in the development of a European scheme of nuclear qualifications and mutual recognitions
  • Regularly communicate relevant data to the Member States governmental, academic and private organizations involved in nuclear education and training. Moreover the Observatory should take an active part in the communication of nuclear human resource issues and their relevance to the public.

Organisation

EHRO-N consists of two instruments:

The Operating Agent (OA) managed by JRC provides the necessary infrastructure, networking, analyses capabilities and long term stability. Activities are focused on updating and maintaining a database and conduct of regular analyses, reviews, compilations, specification and the tendering of specific studies, production and the distribution of regular communications, organisation of workshops and meetings, support of the steering group, establish and maintain close links to organisations involved and providing co-ordination as necessary. The Operating Agent is proposing initiatives to strengthen nuclear human resources capacity in EU.

The Senior Advisory Group (SAG) is composed of experts from EU major nuclear stakeholders, and is focusing on providing general guidance on conceptual issues, such as, for example, type of data and data quality required, analysis to be performed, endorsement of major EHRO-N reports, preparation and execution of communication actions.