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The Belgian approach in education and training in nuclear safeguards

Since 2008 SCK•CEN provides a short safeguards course for mainly students in nuclear engineering. This is done in collaboration with the Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements (IRMM) of the Joint Research Centre in Geel, Belgium. This course is part of the BNEN (Belgian Nuclear higher Education Network) programme, a master-after-master specialization course in nuclear engineering. An adapted version has been provided to members and collaborators of the Flemish Parliament. Based on these first initiatives, SCK•CEN and IRMM participate in the FP7 GENTLE project and have provided an updated course in 2014 to a group of international students. Next to theoretical classes, the course was extended with practical exercises in gamma and neutron NDA measurements and a workshop on safeguarding a country with a specific nuclear fuel cycle. These additional practical parts enabled trainees to enrich and illustrate their acquired knowledge with the practice of real-life situations. In line with the European EQF and ECVET principles, learning outcomes for this course were defined in terms of knowledge, skills and attitudes. In this paper we will describe the development of the Belgian safeguards course from an almost purely lecture-based course into an interactive course with hands-on practices. The integration into several national and international course programmes is described. Lessons learned from the pilot sessions and the planned implementation of additional elements to optimise the effectiveness of the Belgian safeguards courses are discussed.