Dutch initiative to boost nuclear workforce

中核集团   2024-01-23 10:17:02

With the Netherlands planning an expansion of its use of nuclear energy, various parties in the Dutch nuclear and education sectors have signed a declaration of intent aimed at boosting vocational education in nuclear technology.

Nuclear power currently has a small role in the Dutch electricity supply, with the 485 MWe (net) Borssele pressurised water reactor providing about 3% of total generation. The plant has been in operation since 1973 and is scheduled to close in 2033. Research is being conducted into keeping the reactor in operation for longer. At the end of 2022, the Dutch government announced the Borssele site as the preferred location for two new power reactors. In addition, the new PALLAS reactor for the production of medical isotopes is under construction.

"For the realisation of all these ambitions, the influx of employees with sufficient knowledge of the nuclear industry needs to be improved and increased," the partners said in a joint statement. "This requires strengthening the relationship between the nuclear sector and educational institutions, in which vocational education plays a crucial role."

A declaration of intent has now been signed by industry participants COVRA, EPZ, NRG-Pallas and Urenco and educational institutions Scalda, Horizon College/Regio College, Vonk, ROC van Twente and TU Delft.

The aim is to jointly develop a new nuclear curriculum in order to increase the interest of students for careers in the nuclear sector. The organisations will develop a multi-year plan for cooperation and will jointly explore funding opportunities.

"The collaborating partners will focus on new education packages in the field of nuclear technology and radiation protection, coordinated internship programmes and better career orientation to make students enthusiastic about a career in the nuclear sector," the partners said. "The initiators are of course open to expanding cooperation with other vocational institutions, companies and organisations."

NRG-Pallas and TU Delft are already cooperating on the Nuclear Academy programme, which is funded by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate. The programme focuses on strengthening nuclear knowledge and skills in the Netherlands on various levels.