EU Science Hub

The Gentle Project: Graduate and Executive Nuclear Training

The GENTLE (Graduate and Executive Nuclear Training and Lifelong Education) project brings together leading European academic and research institutions with the goal to set up an executive learning programme, strongly supported by industry stakeholders. GENTLE also offers Inter-Semester Courses on nuclear topics which do not receive in-depth coverage in traditional nuclear educational curricula, and grants to support student research experiences.

 

Update: It is now possible to register to the GENTLE MOOC: “Understanding Nuclear Energy”. Here is the link: https://www.edx.org/course/understanding-nuclear-energy-delftx-nuclear01x#!

 

The MOOC will start in October 2016 and will last 6 weeks. The workload per week is in the order of 1.5 hours. The topics treated are:

  • The basics of nuclear science and nuclear energy
  • The operating principles of nuclear reactors
  • The various steps in the nuclear fuel cycle
  • The differences between current and future reactors
  • The pros and cons of nuclear energy

 

The concept and objectives of the GENTLE Project

The continued global interest in nuclear power and an increasing interest within emerging/developing economies create a growing demand for highly educated nuclear engineers and scientists in industry, research, technical safety and governmental organisations. A highly skilled and well informed workforce is essential to build new nuclear reactors, maintain the current civil nuclear reactor fleet safely, decommission obsolete plants, and address legacy and future radioactive waste.

In response to concerns raised regarding the level of nuclear education available, several higher education organisations in the European Union and associated countries have initiated Master of Science degrees in nuclear science and technology. They offer a wide scope of courses and training in the nuclear field for the MSc graduates. However, often they have limited opportunities to propose practical training with radioactive and are thus generally lacking the possibility of specialisation in tracks strongly related to the nuclear fuel cycle, for which the hands-on training with nuclear materials is essential.

The activities of the GENTLE project, integrate an important component of practical training with nuclear material in order to close this gap.

The four years of GENTLE coordination and support action, a joint effort by leading academic and research institutions in Europe, is proposed in the frame of the Euratom Fission Training Schemes to coordinate an Education & Training programme in the field of nuclear fission technology. The members of the consortium will jointly contribute to the common objective of creating a sustainable lifelong education and training programme in the field of Nuclear Fission Technology that meets the needs of the European stakeholders from industry, research and technical safety organisations. Improvement of the educational efforts in Europe will be realised by effective collaboration and coordination within the GENTLE consortium, dialogue with key stakeholders, the “employers”, and integration of the activities with other European education and training efforts.

Specifically, the GENTLE project aims at the successful implementation of the following joint education & training tools:

  • Student research experiences (SREs) to facilitate access of European students to Europe’s unique and specialised laboratories and work hands-on on cutting-edge research.
  • Inter-semester courses for graduate and post graduate students on industry related topics, which will be provided by academics and specialists from research and industry integrated with practical experiences or on-site visits. The inter-semester deepens aspects on topics related to nuclear fuel, nuclear safeguard and security, nuclear waste management, nuclear data etc.
  • A professional course for young professionals working in, among others, industry, consultancy companies or regulatory bodies, to enhance their knowledge of nuclear reactors and fuel cycles. The course covers relevant aspects related to nuclear energy and associated technology as well as nuclear fuel cycle and waste management, but also societal implications of nuclear technology and management skills in the nuclear field.

The focus of GENTLE is on nuclear energy (reactors, fuel cycle and waste management) and can be of support to education and training needs arising from NUGENIA (Nuclear Generation II & III Association), an important pillar of the Sustainable Nuclear Energy Technology Platform (SNETP).

The uniqueness of the GENTLE project lies in the facts that it offers high level education and training through combination of Europe’s top class teachers with Europe’s unique nuclear infrastructure, thus providing an exceptionally well informed holistic approach, that will help Europe to maintain its leading position in the nuclear fission field, and attract high quality students and young professionals from all over Europe and the world.