EU Science Hub

Nuclear knowledge management, training and education

Since 1990, the EU has been building up its nuclear knowledge base. Several incidents turned public opinion against nuclear power, leading to a gradual phasing out of nuclear energy in several EU Member States. Younger generations' interest in nuclear studies decreased dramatically and nuclear education was abandoned by many engineering faculties. In the meantime, the first generation of senior nuclear experts started to retire, with a resulting gap between incoming and outgoing flows of experts. This led gradually to a shortage of qualified professionals and an increased risk of loss of valuable knowledge for the nuclear community.

However, factors such as security of supply and climate change issues have contributed to a nuclear power renaissance. In order to avoid loss of related EU expertise and knowledge, action should be taken to preserve and disseminate the acquired knowledge to the new generation of engineers, scientists and other interested parties.

For nuclear knowledge management, training and education, the JRC set up CAPTURE, a project that seeks to evaluate human resources trends in the sustainable energy sector, harmonise nuclear skills and competences with EU-wide recognition, and contribute to nuclear education, training and knowledge management (including preservation and dissemination).

The importance of this project is linked to the fact that nuclear energy generation will continue to provide an important contribution to the security and competitiveness of energy supply in the EU, and to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, in line with the Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET Plan) targets.

The JRC has been tasked to monitor the supply and demand of human resources in the nuclear energy sector. It carries out nuclear training and education, and plays an important role in nuclear knowledge management.

Monitoring human resources in the nuclear energy sector

The JRC manages the European Human Resources Observatory in the Nuclear Energy Sector (EHRO-N) in order to act as a point of reference for the sustainable energy sector.

More information:

Monitoring human resources in the nuclear energy sector

Nuclear training and education

To maintain the high level of nuclear safety in the EU, high quality nuclear education and training is essential. This is not only the task of academic institutions in the EU member states but also of research laboratories that have the competence and facilities in specialised domains. In light of this, the JRC is strongly contributing to the European education and training efforts in various fields.

Nuclear knowledge management tools

The JRC preserves and maintains JRC related nuclear safety knowledge, contributes to nuclear public opinion activities led by the Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, creates modern nuclear training initiatives, collaborates with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on nuclear safety knowledge management issues, as well as with the European Nuclear Education Network (ENEN) and national universities, etc. for which the JRC develops training and education material, specific to its scientific expertise.