Keywords: nuclear education, human resources, nuclear energy, nuclear power, manpower, training, nuclear technology
Nuclear education and manpower development
The successful applications of nuclear technology in areas as diverse as research, healthcare, nondestructive examinations, agriculture and electrical power generation are all dependent on the expert human resources available to the country or region utilising this technology. The expertise needed to understand and safely employ nuclear energy includes skilled craftsmen, operators, technicians and technologists, engineers and scientists, managers and executives. Nuclear technology is complex, has unique safety and resource requirements, and represents a significant financial investment. To embark on a nuclear power programme and to successfully manage it, the governing bodies of the locality where the nuclear installation is to be located, as well as the country's government, must be active supporters of the related facilities. Furthermore, the country's government must put in place a regulatory system that is independent of the designers, owners and operators of the nuclear facilities, as well as systems that meet such international agreements as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The paper reviews Canadian and other international experience in providing the education and training needed for a country or region to successfully initiate and maintain the expert human resources complement in order to benefit from the peaceful uses of nuclear technology.