Five training courses have been recognized in the first annual NEI Nuclear Training Awards. The winners were picked from an elite group, with judges praising the ‘high calibre’ of the entries.


NEI training awards 2013

Over the past six months, we received more than 40 applications for five training awards, and received them from North America, Europe, and the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Courses ranged in duration from a few hours in some familiarization classes, to years in some higher education degrees.

Topics included fuel cycle issues, introduction to the industry, leadership development, research reactors, safety culture, radiological protection, reactor refuelling, operating experience reporting, maintenance, reactor fundamentals, thermal hydraulics code calculations, vocational apprenticeships, operations supervisors, power plant simulations, design codes, and many more.

The applications were winnowed down into shortlists, and shipped off to our expert panel of judges. The standard of the field was very high, so much so that judge Jim Varley concluded: "…an excellent set of entries. Impossible to judge of course."

All the same, they have now made their judgements.

The winners

World Nuclear University-Summer Institute from the World Nuclear Association (training course of the year, duration less than one year)

Certificate of Nuclear Professionalism from UK National Skills Academy Nuclear (training course of the year, duration more than one year)

Nuclear Engineering Master’s Degree from ISTP, France (workplace training course of the year)

Sheffield Forgemasters International Ltd (apprenticeship of the year)

Duly Authorized Person-Fuel Route, Sizewell B, EDF Energy (industry skills programme of the year)

Three other training programmes were also recognized by the judges and given special awards. Exelon’s Introduction to Power Plant Operations was highly commended in the category training course of the year (less than one year); The Eastern European Research Reactor Coalition won a special award for the apprenticeship of the year category; and the UK nuclear training programmes Fit for Nuclear and Triple Bar Existing Sites (industry skills programme of the year) also share a special award.

The judges

The awards were chosen by a cross-industry panel of judges: Jacques Regaldo, chairman of the World Association of Nuclear Operators; David Whitmore, Atkins global engineering and technical director; Ronald Knief, Sandia National Laboratories TA-V Nuclear Facility training coordinator & nuclear criticality safety engineer; Ulrik von Estorff, operating agent, European Human Resources Observatory for the Nuclear Energy Sector, EC JRC, Institute for Energy; and James Varley, group managing editor, Global Trade Media.

Thanks go to our judges, who made this project possible. Their enthusiasm and professionalism made the project a pleasure. Look out for our call for entries for the 2014 awards; we plan to do this again, bigger and better, starting later this year.