atw 2018-05v6


atw Vol. 63 (2018) | Issue 5 ı May

| | Fig. 3.

Decommissioning – a challenge requiring

knowledge and skills.

(EHRO-N), whose reports are published

periodically [4]. EHRO-N

statistics show that the number of

students graduating in nuclear­ related

disciplines has slightly increased over

the last five years. The workforce of

nuclear educated staff involved in

decommissioning and waste management

activities represents today only a

fraction (< 20 %) of the total nuclear

employment. Most of the human

resources are dedicated to the operation

of nuclear facilities, to R&D and

to design purposes; decommissioning

is still a ‘niche’ activity in the entire

nuclear business.

At a first glance, undertaking a

career in decommissioning could be

perceived as not particularly exciting;

at face value it involves mainly

clearing, cleaning and demolishing

of reactors and facilities. This is often

seen as less attractive than constructing

something new. However,

the finality of decommissioning is

material recycling and environmental

plus economic valuation, once a site is

cleaned and can be released from

regulatory control and reused for

other purposes. Decommissioning can

be challenge/problem led, due to

the variety of issues to be resolved,

requiring the mastery of a diverse set

of knowledge and skills, with the

development of a bespoke set of

solutions (Figure 3).

However, the many possibilities

offered to study and to start a career

in nuclear decommissioning are

presently not visible enough. In addition,

the on-going decommissioning

programmes and the difficulties they

face are in general presented too

negatively, instead of highlighting

the achievements made so far. Promotion

could start by clarifying the

existing education, training and

career opportunities in Europe.

Advertising the challenge and excitement

linked to decommissioning

could be stimulated and integrated

within existing campaigns for the

promotion of education and training.

And more generally, promotion of

decommissioning could be helped by

improving the public understanding

on its finality and as such presenting

the activity in a more objective way.

5 Elinder

The overall aim of the present

ELINDER 3 project to start as of 2018 is

to raise the interest of students and

professionals and to stimulate careers

in this important and emerging

field, by offering a set of attractive

theoretical and practical learning

opportunities. In this sense ELINDER

envisages to elaborate and promote a

modular, coherent and commonly

qualified training programme in

nuclear decommissioning and pave

the way for an ECVET application to

well-defined decommissioning job


The target audience for ELINDER

are students at the end of their

education cycle, young professionals

at the start of their career and experienced

professionals and managers

who change their career orientation

towards nuclear decommissioning.

The programme will be achieved

by pooling and enhancing already

existing learning initiatives of different

European partners active in the

field of decommissioning.

5.1 ELINDER partners

and actors

The ELINDER concept has been

created by the European Commission's

Joint Research Centre in collaboration

with European universities

and institutes (Table 1).

The IAEA has been participating

from the beginning to the elaboration

of the concept and will practically

support the ELINDER project through

its networks of experts, training tools

and its technical cooperation programme.

The development of the courses

and the coordination of training will

be led by the partners, but interested

industrial actors and organisations

will be invited for providing ad hoc

lectures or practical case studies and

exercises. Periodically, a round table

will be organised to assess the lessons

learnt from the programme in view of

its continuous improvement.

5.2 ELINDER approach

The project is conceived as an

integrated set of learning opportunities.

The training programme consists

of a series of courses including

lectures, practical hands-on exercises

at the premises of the organising

partners and visits to relevant facilities

in the vicinity (Table 2). Five

' generic training modules' serve as a

general introduction with a synopsis

of the main decommissioning aspects.

They are addressed to different audiences

of starting professionals and

one of them to students. Additionally

'specific, topical training modules'

address more in detail specialised

topics which have been identified as

pinch-point areas, i.e. areas in which

knowledge, skills and competences

need to be improved.

A complementary e-learning programme

is in elaboration and will be

based on existing courses. It will allow

an introduction of students and

professionals with a view to participate

to future ELINDER trainings.

The most relevant opportunity

will depend on the professional

experience of each participant as


European Learning

Initiatives for

Nuclear Decommissioning



Remediation, see

webpage: https://


SCK•CEN Studiecentrum voor Kernenergie – Centre d'Etude de l'Energie Nucléaire Belgium

KIT Karlsruher Institut für Technologie Germany

CEA Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives France

UoB University of Birmingham UK

STUBA Slovenská Technická Univerzita v Bratislave Slovakia

UT University of Tartu Estonia


SOGIN Società Gestione Impianti Nucleari Italy

ENEN European Nuclear Education Network association Europe

ENSTTI European Nuclear Safety Training & Tutoring Institute Europe

ENS European Nuclear Society Europe

FORATOM European Atomic Forum Europe

JRC European Commission Joint Research Centre EU

| | Tab. 1.

ELINDER Partners.


ELINDER – European Learning Initiatives for Nuclear Decommissioning and Environmental Remediation

Decommissioning and Waste Management

ı Pierre Kockerols, Hans Günther Schneider and Daniela Santopolo

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