Keywords: knowledge transfer, organisational mentoring, nuclear knowledge management, nuclear information, USA, United States, federal regulatory agencies, nuclear energy, nuclear power
How mentoring programmes can address the emerging knowledge management crisis at US federal regulatory agencies as the US faces a nuclear renaissance
Several years ago, the USA experienced a major power grid outage in the northeast of the country that focused attention on looming power shortages in the country. As the population grows in the USA, the demand for electricity continues to increase dramatically. The governmental selected solution has been to look towards the increase of nuclear power as a viable energy source. The USA has not built a new nuclear power plant in the country in over 25 years. Even government encouragement in research and development in the use of nuclear power was limited after the 1986 accident in Chernobyl. But in 2008, the USA is about to engage in a nuclear renaissance by accepting a plethora of applications for the development of new power plants. Ultimately, the long-term success of the government regulation and energy company participation in this renaissance depends upon the transfer of knowledge amongst its senior employees, who are members of the baby boomer generation, and its development employees. With so many US federal government employees ready for retirement, the ability to nurture employees requires a well-defined methodology for mentoring as a knowledge management and knowledge transfer mechanism.