Keywords: training, human resources, safety culture, nuclear safety, nuclear power plants, nuclear energy, technical support
The strategies and pitfalls when embarking on a nuclear power plant project
One of the most difficult and critical processes to be developed and implemented when newcomers decide to embark on a nuclear power programme is related to the education and manpower development to face the massive challenge of implementing a nuclear power plant. This area of human resources is of fundamental importance for the success of any programme of such a magnitude. Although some interested parties can declare that a 'turnkey' type of contract encompasses and resolves all personnel-related matters, international experience demonstrates that this assertion is not absolutely true. Decision makers must be reminded that a nuclear power plant does not come from a shelf and buying one is not like buying a car, where we simply turn the key and the car is ready for use. This kind of contract (the best option for a newcomer) does not eliminate the need of the host country to form their own personnel and this should be done from the very beginning, when the decision to construct a nuclear power programme is taken by the responsible persons. The best way to develop this human resources capability is to request international experience support from the vendors and international consulting and engineering companies with sound and proven experience in this field. What is important is that there is no need to 'reinvent the wheel' for acquiring a road map for this objective. To ask for technical support for this development is a sobering attitude that should be pursued by decision makers. Certainly, the costs associated with an early deployment of this technical support will turn out to be a sound investment, owing to the considerable savings it will bring to the buyers during all phases of the development and construction of the first nuclear plant.