10th Birthday of ENEN
Paper Presented at the FISA 2013 Conference, Post-FISA Workshop #2,
17 October 2013 - Vilnius, Lithuania
Lessons learnt from 10 years of ENEN collaboration:
from a knowledge to an end-user driven approach
Walter Ambrosini and Founding Members of ENEN
European Nuclear Education Network Association, Centre CEA de Saclay,
INSTN – Bldg 395, F-91191 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France, www.enen-assoc.org
This paper collects contributions received by some of the scientists and teachers who soundly contributed to the development of the European Nuclear Education Network Association (ENEN). A paper presented at this FISA 2013 Conference is describing the main achievements of ENEN in a more systematic way; here, emphasis is given to the meaning that these achievements had for different Countries and to the personal experience of the main actors in these developments, i.e., the founding members. The number of contributions received for this paper is less than could have been collected: timing and engagement restrictions made not possible to contact all the involved persons and some of the contacted ones were not in the position to answer in the short time allowed for setting up the paper. However, nobody should feel excluded and the adopted generic authorship actually reflects this intention. While the main body of the paper contains the contributions received from some founding members, the Introduction and the Conclusion are by the first author who, with little merit, inherited the Association to be taken care of as its President.
The existence of ENEN , with its structures and activities, represents today for many students and teachers throughout Europe and abroad the tangible possibility to entertain useful international relations, to catch the opportunity of valuable stages abroad for courses or thesis work, to exchange ideas and develop education and training schemes in a continuously changing environment, often adverse to the studies in the nuclear fields.
The mission of ENEN , conceived ten years ago, has not changed its scope and value. Born to counteract the decline in attractiveness of nuclear careers in a period of stagnation in the nuclear field, the Association made its service in reviving interest for nuclear energy in young generations, setting up links among universities and creating a bridge with the industrial and advanced research environments. The European Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering (EMSNE) certification  was set up to establish a standard for European universities in setting up or maintaining nuclear engineering courses, providing the appropriate level of knowledge and qualifications to the future nuclear workforce. The organisation of PhD events  and the EMSNE Award ceremonies , held as side events at major conferences, provided the opportunity to hundreds of students up to the present time to assess the level of their education and capabilities, giving to their studies a pretty international dimension. Young generations, grown up in a world made suddenly very small by the astonishing development of telecommunications, do appreciate the thrust that such opportunities provide to the take-off of their professional lives and are encouraged to enter the fascinating world of the more intense energy source available nowadays to mankind.
ENEN, indeed, witnessed also the recent short period of nuclear renaissance, with promises of new builds in different regions of the world, also stimulated by the increasing concerns about climate changes having a possibly anthropogenic nature (reaffirmed also recently ). In that period, it was suddenly discovered that the offer of engineers with good knowledge in the nuclear field had become insignificant with respect to the amount of human resources needed for serious nuclear energy plans; a rush for providing engineers specialised in other matters with a minimum knowledge in nuclear energy was then considered as a possible way to put repair to the situation.
This renaissance period was anyway too short to have as a by-product a sufficient improvement of the educational situation in our fields; the Fukushima accident seemingly terminated the growing tendency in the public opinion to reconsider nuclear energy as a possible useful ingredient in the energy mix, making in a few months to nearly disappear the environmental concerns that had promoted in the layman view the volatile fortune of nuclear energy as a carbon-free source of energy. The enthusiasm for the resources of shale-gas and shale-oil identified in some parts of the world seems moreover to have surpassed most of the public worries about environmental pollution and sustainability; a further tendency to concentrate the attention mostly on renewable energy sources makes nuclear energy again to be wrongly perceived as an unnecessary contributor in a world with a ceaseless increase in energy needs.
In this panorama characterised by uncertain energy policies, except in growing economies motivated to catch-up in the welfare of their citizens, efforts like the one which led to the establishment of ENEN have the merit to contribute in maintaining and further developing the basis of knowledge and kills that are presently needed to operate the nuclear power plants which supply 30% of electricity in Europe. The same basis of knowledge and skills, updated, adapted and transferred to new generations, will be necessary to undertake the decommissioning of the present operating units and to substitute them with the future generations of power plants. Waste management and radiation protection are additional fields in which knowledge and expertise need to be urgently transferred to new generations and further deepened; both power and non-power applications of nuclear energy require the selection of repositories for radioactive wastes and a better awareness in dealing with the health effects of exposure to ionising radiations at low doses.
In addition to the known effects on energy policy in different Countries, the natural catastrophe that involved the Fukushima Daichi power plants in March 2011, causing on top of all the other troubles a massive release of radioactive materials, proposed in new terms the need to maintain high levels in nuclear safety. The high costs involved in the lengthy recovery of safe plant conditions and in the planned site remediation process confirmed that safety and security must be considered as primary objectives. Though it is presently believed that such a severe accident may add very little to the enormous death toll due to the combined earthquake and tsunami (consider e.g., ), the societal consequences of the accident are anyway perceived as unacceptable. As after the Chernobyl accident, also in this case an adequate level of nuclear safety culture (see, e.g., ) is considered a key element to avoid such occurrences, calling into play the role of education and training for achieving the necessary mind-set at all levels in plant management. In this regard, ENEN, in the year of its 10th Birthday, is paying its service to the European Union by undertaking a challenging project  aimed at setting up training schemes for different target groups, including decision makers and journalists, personnel of regulatory and safety organisations and industry.
The existence of ENEN is therefore a resource having multiple beneficial implications for Europe, as recognised by the European Council on 1-2 December 2008 (). Its establishment represented the result of a common effort spent ten years ago by long-sighted scientists and teachers who, with the continuous support of the European Commission, prepared this resource for the present and future generations, leaving it in our hands to continue pursuing its mission.
These ten years passed very quickly, full of activities, projects and achievements. The memories and comments of some founding Members of ENEN reported below will help us in considering these achievements in perspective, preparing ourselves for consolidating and developing what the efforts spent up to now were able to produce.
2 MEMORIES AND COMMENTS BY SOME FOUNDING MEMBERS
2.1 The Former President’s overview about ENEN Activities
The last time I granted the European Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering (EMSNE) Certificates, I did that jointly with Mr. Alexander Bychkov, IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Nuclear Energy. The ceremony was held at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna on the 20th of September 2012 as a side event of the General Conference and the 24 laureates could take advantage of this important event, with worldwide delegates participating, and were offered a guided tour of the IAEA buildings with the presentation of the different and wide scope activities of the Agency.
I could not avoid recalling the first EMSNE first ceremony in 2005 held in December 2005 as a parallel session of the European Nuclear Conference(ENC2005), held in Versailles, France. Only three laureates could be granted this Certification. We had to start and this was the achievement of several
years of shared tasks, realized first under ENEN FP5 project for the definition of the concept and the contents of the curricula relative to the mandatory and optional courses of a two years’ master program in nuclear engineering. The implementation was successfully achieved under FP6 NEPTUNO project (Jan. 2004 – June 2006). By-laws were drafted and a Committee was established for the evaluation of the applications to be received every year. This year’s ceremony was also organized in the same conditions during the IAEA General Conference, under the responsibility of ENEN’s President Walter Ambrosini. The event was equally successful.
The PhD events were always the occasion for interesting presentations performed by PhD students and fruitful exchanges with jury members and the participating researchers. Candidates apply according to a defined procedure including an abstract and the jury had to meet and select 12 candidates who were invited to present their research results during a one day parallel session at an international conference. The best three presentations, selected by an ENEN jury, are awarded an ENEN Prize.
The ENEN PhD event is organized on a yearly basis since 2008, but I remember more specifically Werner van Antwerpen from North-West University, South Africa, who was one of the three winners in 2009. North West University joined ENEN Association under an MoU and could be thus represented and participate to ENEN’s activities as well as to the General Assembly without voting rights. This was the first collaboration with a country outside Europe which was then extended to other academic and research institutions in Japan and Russia.
The ENEN association has developed its activities in the framework of European projects by coordinating some projects (ENEN II, ENEN III, ENEN-RU,
ECNET) or by participating as partner (TRASNUSAFE, PETRUS II, ENETRAP II). EUJEP (Europe-Japan), a project financed by the Education Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA), is also coordinated by ENEN and aiming at the bilateral cooperation between EU and Japan with the objective of stimulating the exchange of master level students and faculty staff, to and from Japan, with mutual recognition of credits. In the framework of this project I could fund and send more than ten students to Japan for a total period of more than sixty months. On the other hand 5 students from TokyoTech University were hosted by CEA laboratories for a total of 25 months.
Since January 2013, ENEN is coordinating a new project NUSHARE aiming at the enhancement of Safety culture across the European Union. I am sure that this challenging project will be successful with the help of ENEN members, mainly the newly elected Board and President.
Last but not least, ENEN’s meetings were specific occasions for exchanging ideas concerning education, training and research activities related to the nuclear sector. ENEN “special events” that preceded the General Assembly highly contributed to develop fruitful collaboration between ENEN members.
Joseph Safieh, CEA-INSTN, France
Figure 1. Collage of pictures taken at the 2003 FISA Conference in Luxembourg
2.2 ENEN activities in Bratislava
ENEN has brought together all aspects of European education and training in nuclear engineering, nuclear safety, and other nuclear disciplines. Our university has exceptionally benefited mainly from an active participation, involvement, and organization of several educational courses that were accomplished in collaboration with other ENEN partners. Namely, Budapest University of Technology and Economics (Hungary), Czech Technical University in Prague (Czech Republic), Atominstitut der Österreichischen Universitäten in Vienna (Austria), and Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava (Slovakia) have carried out several common demonstration courses on reactor physics and kinetics at three different research- and training reactors in three different locations (Vienna, Prague, Budapest). The experimental work was preceded by theoretical lectures held in Bratislava, Slovakia aiming to prepare the students for the experiments. In addition, a technical tour to an operating nuclear power plant was also organized in Slovakia. In total, about 60 individuals from 13 countries have participated at these courses.
Apart from this educational course, within the ENEN activities we have also accomplished The Training Course on Nuclear Safety and Nuclear Safety for Subcontractors that can be cited as examples of training courses with international participation including operating personnel from nuclear installations.
In our view, all of these actions, which have been organised under the auspices of the ENEN Association, have opened new horizons for our University in several directions. Not only mutual exchange of experience but also opportunities to establish new collaborations on different levels. The latter have extended from student exchanges up to harmonization of study programs and implementation of new stimulating ideas for mutual recognition as well as an intensive sharing of views among the ENEN partners, consisting of a representative cross-section of nuclear academic institutions and research
Marcel Miglierini, Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava,Slovakia
2.3 The stimulus received from ENEN in Switzerland
At the time of ENEN's foundation, university-based nuclear education in Switzerland largely consisted in the teaching of introductory courses at the two Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (SFITs), EPFL at Lausanne and ETHZ at Zurich. These courses were offered as optional courses to final-year students, of physics at EPFL and of mechanical engineering at ETHZ. The professors involved complemented their teaching activities with the guidance of doctoral research projects, carried out largely in collaboration with the Paul Scherer Institute (PSI), a research institution belonging to the domain of the SFITs.
The implementation of the Bologna reform in Europe provided a major incentive for Switzerland to consider establishing a nuclear educational program more in line with the fact that 40% of its electricity stems from nuclear power plants. Thus, since 2008, a joint EPFL-ETHZ Master of Science in Nuclear
Engineering has been in place. Students joining the program have Bachelor degrees in a variety of subjects, with physics and mechanical engineering being the principal ones. The first semester of the program is spent by the students entirely at Lausanne, the second entirely at Zurich, while the last two are spent largely at PSI. The latter is due to the fact that the research component of the students' activities is usually integrated into one of the ongoing R&D projects of PSI's Nuclear Energy and Safety (NES) department.
A major feature of the Swiss Nuclear Engineering Master is the industrial internship which the students have to undergo before embarking upon
their research thesis. This 2 to 3 months' practical training is usually hosted by one of the national "end-users", viz. the nuclear utilities which run the country's five nuclear power plants, the nuclear regulatory authority (ENSI), the nuclear waste disposal organisation (Nagra), etc..
Throughout the development and implementation of the Swiss Nuclear Engineering Master, EPFL and ETHZ have been active members of ENEN. This has been an important factor in providing a regular exchange of ideas with nuclear engineering university departments across Europe. Full compatibility has thus been ensured with the high standards of the European Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering (EMSNE), the establishment of which has been a major highlight of ENEN's 10-year history.
Rakesh Chawla, EPFL at Lausanne, Switzerland
Figure 2. In Helsinki in 2005
2.4 The importance of the achieved results in a comment from Slovenia
It was an immense pleasure to contribute to the growing success of the ENEN Association over the past ten years, four of them as a member of the
Board of Directors.
It is namely imperative for our society at large to enable the most gifted young people to participate in the solution of our greatest challenges: access to water, food and energy. It is also immensely important to have the globally connected knowledge available and active locally. And these values were in the core of the ENEN association during the first ten years and will certainly stay there for the decades to come.
Leon Cizelj, Jozef Stefan Institute, Slovenia
Figure 3. Working and convivial moments in Ljubljana in 2002
2.5 Also the non-nuclear country of Enrico Fermi took part in the endeavour
CIRTEN, the Italian Consortium of the Universities involved in Nuclear Engineering, is a founder member of ENEN, and CIRTEN chose myself, Bruno Panella, professor at Politecnico di Torino, as its representative for many years.
As a little contribution to the ENEN Birthday celebration, I would like to remember that all was born around the year 2000 (about 3 years before the formal constitution of the ENEN Association), as many Universities and nuclear research Centres were deeply worried about the situation of the nuclear energy in Europe and decided to collaborate in the education field.
So, several meetings were organized (the first was in Bruxelles followed by the Budapest and Madrid meetings) and the collaboration started as participation of the following European Universities and Research Centres to the ENEN Project, within the European Framework Program:
The Project Summary was as follows:
“The outcome of this project should be a clear road map for the way ahead in nuclear engineering education in Europe. The project covers
different aspects, in fact generic, for a higher education network a.o.:
- state of the art;
- prerequisites to enter the education;
- education curricula, continuing education;
- teachers qualification;
- student and teachers mobility;
- identifying the most adequate organisations to perform the education and training;
- teaching practice a.o. distant learning, Euro-courses;
- co-operation with research institutes that operate larger nuclear infrastructures;
- keep a finger on the pulse of industry;
- pilot education sessions are organised.
Due to the nature of the project, most participants are from universities, all with nuclear engineering education schemes. Other participants are from research centres, running heavy nuclear infrastructures, but also involved in education and training. Participants are as well from EU countries as from "New Joiners", as well from countries without nuclear energy production as with a larger share of nuclear energy production.
The work itself consists mainly in:
- gathering the information
- digest the information
- formulate proposals for a global strategy
- perform pilot education sessions
- produce a clear roadmap for the way ahead in nuclear engineering education in Europe.
The project is a step towards farther reaching objectives e.g. :
- the conservation of nuclear knowledge and expertise
- the creation of a European higher education space
- the integration of "New Joiners" in the EU”.
I believe that the task and the reached outcome of the 2001- 2003 “ENEN Project” can be assumed also as the mission of the future European Nuclear Education Network.
Bruno Panella, Politecnico di Torino, Italy
Figure 4. Images from a NEPTUNO Project Meeting in Manchester
Figure 5. Pictures taken at EMSNE Award and PhD Events and during signatures at IAEA
2.6 The Former Vice-President View
The Technical University of Madrid (UPM) as a Co-Founder Member of ENEN Association has actively participated in all Projects of ENEN financed by
Our summary is very positive because it has given the chance to collaborate in activities with other universities and with Research Centres, opening new horizons for students. Now, the ENEN Association is very well known not only in Europe but also beyond, having MoUs with other not ENEN Members in Russia, Japan, etc., and with other networks under the umbrella of IAEA, as LANENT, ANENT and AFRA-NEST.
One of the most important goals was the development and implementation of the EMSNE. The other one was the PhD Event. This is organized since 2008, in which a jury selects 12 candidates, students from several country ENEN Members that have to defend their works (PhD projects) in a one-day
The ENEN Association has given to me a very positive balance not only from the technical point of view, but also for friendship, and I would like to thank all the co-founders for their dedication to ENEN creation, and especially Prof. Safieh for leadership in this first ten years and Dr. Van-Goethem for his help from the Commission.
Finally, I wish a new and ambitious period to the ENEN Association.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY FOR 10 YEARS OF ENEN ASSOCIATION
Emilio Minguez, Technical University of Madrid, Spain
2.7 An applied reactor physics course in the name of a renowned Hungarian scientist
One of the “flagships” of the “doubly international” courses of the ENEN Association was the “Eugene Wigner” Course for Reactor Physics Experiments. I call it doubly international, because the students were coming from different countries, but the course itself was organized in 4 different countries too. According to my knowledge, that was the first (and probably the only) course which was fully evaluated and granted by the Quality Assurance Committee of the ENEN Association. The Announcement of the course below (from year 2006) shows its main features.
Csaba Sükösd, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Hungary
Figure 6. Front page of a presentation on the Eugene Wigner Course
2.8 Elaborating the European Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering
Hereafter, the abstract of the publicationon Nuclear Engineering and Design of the main features of the EMSNE Certification concept is reported. This result came at the end of a sound cooperative work aimed at setting up the by-laws used nowadays to assess the curricula of applicants.
“The need to preserve, enhance or strengthen nuclear knowledge is worldwide recognised since a couple of years. Among others, “networking to maintain nuclear competence through education and training”, was recommended in 2001 by an expert panel to the European Commission [EUR, 19150 EN, Strategic issues related to a 6th Euratom Framework Programme (2002–2006). Scientiﬁc and Technical Committee Euratom, pp. 14].
It appears that within the European University education and training framework, nuclear engineering is presently still sufﬁciently covered, although somewhat fragmented. However, it has been observed that several areas are at risk in the very near future including safety relevant ﬁelds such as reactor physics and nuclear thermal–hydraulics. Furthermore, in some countries deﬁciencies have been identiﬁed in areas such as the back-end of the nuclear fuel cycle, waste management and decommissioning.
To overcome these risks and deﬁciencies, it is of very high importance that European countries work more closely together. Harmonisation and improvement of the nuclear education and training have to take place at an international level in order to maintain the knowledge properly and to transfer it throughout Europe for the safe and economic design, operation and dismantling of present and future nuclear systems. To take up the challenges of offering top quality, new, attractive and relevant curricula, higher education institutions should cooperate with industry, regulatory bodies and research centres, and more appropriate funding from public and private sources. In addition, European nuclear education and training should beneﬁt from links with international organisations like IAEA, OECD-NEA and others, and should include worldwide cooperation with academic institutions and research centres.
The ﬁrst and central issue is to establish a European Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering. The concept envisaged is compatible with the projected harmonised European architecture for higher education deﬁning bachelors and masters degrees. The basic goal is to guarantee a high quality nuclear education in Europe by means of stimulating student and instructor exchange, through mutual checks of the quality of the programs offered, by close collaboration with renowned nuclear-research groups at universities and laboratories. The concept for a nuclear master program consists of a solid basket of recommended basic nuclear science and engineering courses, but also contains advanced courses as well as practical training. Some of the advanced courses also serve as part of the curricula for doctoral programs.
A second important issue identiﬁed is Continued Professional Development. The design of corresponding training courses has to respond to the needs of industry and regulatory bodies, and a speciﬁc organisation has to be set up to manage the quality assessment and accreditation of the Continued Professional Development programs.
In order to achieve the important objectives and practical goals described above, the ENEN Association, a non-proﬁt association under French law, was formed. This international association can be considered as a step towards the creation of a virtual European Nuclear University symbolising the active collaboration between various national institutions pursuing nuclear education.
Based on the concepts and strategy explained above, and with the full cooperation of the participating institutions, it may be stated that the intellectual erosion in the nuclear ﬁeld can be reversed, and that high quality European education in nuclear sciences and technology can be guaranteed.”
Frans Moons, Joseph Saﬁeh, Michel Giot, Borut Mavko, Bal Raj Sehgal, Anselm Schaefer, Georges Van Goethem, William D’haeseleer
2.9 Informal, behind the scene reflections on the genesis of the EMSNE
The abstract reported in the previous section explains the objectives of the EMSNE certification in formal language. But, it is clear that much work and mental shaping was needed to arrive at that positive outcome.
Imagine the situation. Knowledgeable experts in nuclear engineering, i.e., mostly professors, representing something like 20+ academic organizations (basically universities), decide to cooperate and to keep high standards for European nuclear education. The word most participants were originally thinking of was “harmonization”, to some extent also a dream of the EU officials. After some careful reflections, and posing ample “what if” questions, we relatively quickly agreed that that was not the route to be taken. Just consider the state of affairs: all universities have their own program, each of those universities has always enjoyed considerable freedom in setting up their own program, as the local nuclear experts saw it.
In addition, each of these personalities and universities has his/its own pride and are convinced that their program is the best. Furthermore, each of those universities has different governmental authorities with different desires and rules! The challenge was to avoid a construction like the British saying that “a camel is a horse designed by a committee”; nor did we want to come up with a zebra: a blind mixture with a well-balanced measure of each color. And, what we certainly wanted to avoid were a downward-level harmonization and/or lengthy administrative procedural processes for overall recognition of a common degree.
Hence, the pragmatic, but wise, decision to set something up with a completely different philosophy. The fundamental goal was to support each other, to stimulate European mobility and to guarantee a high-level nuclear education. By means of well-designed open courses and/or labs taught in English, or by stimulating Master-level research and thesis work abroad, in some specialized topics, by some ENEN-member universities or labs (not everything the same al every place) we managed to kill two birds with one stone: facilitating European mobility and allowing some institutions to specialize in particular topics, while others could with good conscience downgrade or stop activities in those particular areas. The EMSNE-“degree” idea would then formally be dropped, but replaced by an at least as valuable certification by the ENEN Association.
In other words, students can still obtain their formal MS degree in Nuclear Engineering in their own home institution, but after the contents of the individual program is carefully checked by an ENEN evaluation committee, the international mobility of at least 20 ECTS is considered as an extra asset that gives a quality label to the original NE degree. If the nuclear community takes itself seriously, it should highly value that extra quality EMSNE certification!
The concept of the EMSNE certification was by and large designed by the above mentioned authors. Two extra mentions are in order though. Professor Fernand Vanmassenhove, known for his desire to keep the standards in nuclear Engineering high, and known in Belgium as “Mr Nuclear at the University of Ghent”, was a warm supporter of our quality-label concept. He did not see the first EMSNE awards though as he suddenly passed away in December 2004. And finally, although most of the conceptual ideas of the EMSNE certification originate from the above list of authors, we gladly acknowledge that the practical translation of the concept into bylaws and assessment guidelines, was done by Geert Van den Branden.
William D'haeseleer, KU Leuven, Belgium
Figure 7. Waiting for a train back to Paris during a trip to Saclay in 2004
2.10 The role of ENEN in memories and reflectionsfrom Germany
A high degree of engagement and flexibility of a relatively small number of people was a quite evident characteristic during the first years of ENEN. I remember that we operated several committees (the structure was introduced already in 2003), often with the same people in different committees. This obvious lack of initial resources was probably one reason for the fact that practical work focused on a few priorities.
The structure of the nuclear master was certainly a success story for ENEN. It was considered in most revision of national nuclear education programmes done in relation to the Bologna scheme. In Germany, we have now nuclear masters at several universities following the basic structure set-up by ENEN. The ENEN networking concept also irradiated to the national level; in Germany this resulted in several regional networks for nuclear education. The idea of modular studies is another idea emerging on the basis of ENEN’s work; its implementation turned out to be more difficult as initially assumed, but there is progress.
It must be also recognised that ENEN started really as a European group. We had some repeated negotiations with the WNU, but the enlargement with
contacts to universities outside Europe came only several years later. The current status of international contacts beyond Europe is certainly one of the
unique features of ENEN. "
Anselm Schaefer, Institute for Safety and Reliability, Munich, Germany
2.11 The development of ENEN in the memories of a past Secretary General
Coming back after seven years working in the international environment of the IAEA to the Nuclear Research Centre in Mol, Belgium, my director general, the late Paul Govaerts, proposed me to valorize my international experience by managing the secretariat of the freshly established European Nuclear Education Network and to be seconded part-time to Saclay near Paris. I gladly accepted and started at a rate of three days per week at the CEA centre of Saclay.
The structure of the Association had been described in the statutes, but the basis had to be built and the tools developed for implementing the
activities to the benefit of the members. The office was installed, first leaflet and the logo were developed, the first web site was put on-line, the
first series of presentations and communications at various international fora were presented, not the least in the framework of IAEA Technical Meetings, European Union conferences and World Nuclear University sessions.
The membership number started to increase from the 22 foundingmembers, and very soon modalities had to be developed to accommodate members
from outside the European Union. Only one FP6 project, NEPTUNO, though with 35 partners, was coordinated jointly by CEA and SCK•CEN. Soon the number of members increased and the positive evaluation of ENEN proposals to EC FP6 calls resulted in new challenges for the Association, and the Secretariat in particular, for assuring the coordination and participation to ENEN-II, covering academic curricula in nuclear engineering, radiation protection and waste management and disposal, and to EUROTRANS organizing 10 PhD level courses related to advanced technologies for nuclear transmutation and a doctoral thesis contest. The part-time secretary provided by CEA-INSTN was discontinued, and in view of the expansion of the ENEN membership and activities, the decision was taken to engage a full-time employee as Secretary General.
The European Master of Science certificate was awarded to anincreasing number students, totalling now more than 109 alumni, an annual PhD Event has been organized since 2007 totalling now 79 participants and 21 Prize winners. The activities related to EC financed projects have expanded dramatically with the coordination of ENEN-III dedicated to specific job oriented education and training, of ENEN-RU and EUJEP with exchanges of students and faculty members respectivelywith Russia and Japan, and of ECNET with the intention to achieve cooperation and exchanges with China. The ENEN Association contributed as a beneficiary to the PETRUS-II and ENETRAP-II projects, is still involved in the PELGRIMM and TRASNUSAFE projects last year was charged with the coordination of the NUSHARE project. The ENEN Association is recognized, its contribution appreciated and
its cooperation valued by numerous consortia, international organizations (IAEA, OECD-NEA, FORATOM), nuclear industries, and education and training
networks worldwide (ANENT, LANENT, AFRA-NEST).
It currently has 64 members in 18 countries of the EU, South Africa, Japan, Russia and Ukraine. I hope to have contributed to the ENEN Association
and its development to the same extent that I received professional satisfaction in return.
Peter De Regge, Treasurer of the ENEN Association, Belgium
2.12 ENEN: from a vision to a project
The foregoing sections present the most important milestones and achievements of our common educational project which was further developed as a
formal entity: the ENEN Association. May I recall some of the elements of the initial context? Let us go back to the end of the nineties. In Belgium (55% of electricity from NPP’s), where two post-graduate programmes in nuclear engineering survive in difficult conditions, one programme in the North (Flemish Community) and one in the South (French Community), William D’haeseleer and myself, propose to merge the two programmes into a single one, taught in English at the premises of the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre of Mol (SCK•CEN) with contributions of six universities. At a meeting with the Belgian nuclear sector, we present the project and ask if there is a support for it. The answer is conditionally positive: indeed, two criteria should be satisfied: extra-costs to be supported by the nuclear sector should remain reasonable, and the quality of the new programme should be internationally recognised. The challenge is accepted by the academic partners and SCK•CEN: the BNEN consortium is on its tracks.
Having the quality of the BNEN programme internationally recognised at the time where the ERASMUS – SOCRATES programmes flourish and university networks are created, means that BNEN should become part of a new network with top level European institutions. The next step consists in inviting a number of our Colleagues from different countries of the European Union for a meeting in Brussels in April 2000 to discuss this networking issue. The result of the discussion is the decision to prepare a project, the ENEN project as described by Bruno Panella in section 2.5.
In the preparation of the ENEN project, the following main elements of vision were put forward:
mobility of students and professors is only achievable if there is a commitment to continuously improve the quality of the programmes and update the courses;
research is the normal way to attract good students; therefore participating institutions should be restricted to those offering doctoral studies; there is room for cooperation in research in particular around dedicated infrastructure;
industry should contribute to the programmes, a.o. by offering internships, seminars, etc. Its support is a factor of credibility;
there should be a geographical spread of programmes throughout the European Union for a good coverage of the needs which involve some national and cultural aspects; concentration of courses at a single place is justified for advanced courses or labs;
a harmonisation of the programmes should be looked for; diversity is justified by the opportunity to locally develop some selected strong points beyond the common core;
the European dimension should be present in all programmes, for example thanks to mobility.
Looking backwards one measures the progress made possible thanks to ENEN, and our many Colleagues and Friend, with a special mention to our first
President, Joseph SAFIEH and his staff, and to our excellent coach, Georges VAN GOETHEM. However, the vision summarised in the bullets above remains as a permanent objective for ENEN today and tomorrow, and, therefore, I wish a lot of success to our new President and his staff.
Michel Giot, First President of the Belgian Nuclear Education Network
Figure 8. Miscellaneous moments in the life of ENEN
2.13 The involvement of ENEN with ANENT and SNETP
As a former Vice President of ENEN, I look back on a network that established a formidable achievement in bringing together so many academic organizations from across Europe in a cooperative agreement to work together for the common good of nuclear education within the European Union. Each member brought a unique capability and technical mix of subject matters that enriched all of us in our understanding of various MSc and PhD programs. My personal reflections are in two main areas:
a) Representing ENEN at the ANENT meeting in Beijing (November 2008): The opportunity to convey the structures and working of ENEN to the ANENT community provided a unique experience for both parties and the possible opportunity for exporting ENEN experience to the Asian communities.
b) SNETP: ENEN was charged with helping to formulate the educational support for SNETP in the emerging technologies being considered for the SNETP roadmap. This was an incredible challenge for me as the first Chairman of this working group and the support provided by ENEN members will live long in my memory.
I wish ENEN good fortune in growing over the next ten years.
Philip Beeley, Former Vice President
Chair of Nuclear Engineering, Khalifa University, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
2.14 Also Finland contributed to ENEN actions since the very beginning
The first contacts of Helsinki University of Technology (nowadays Aalto University) with ENEN started already during the ENEN coordination project of FP5. The promises where great: a chance for a small nuclear country with minor resources to exploit nuclear education by intense international collaboration and by the opportunity to enter the European community.
None of these expectations have failed and we have participated in all the ENEN activities from the original project to ENEN-III, not to mention relations to nuclear waste management, PETRUS, and radiation protection, ENETRAP, etc..
The Lappenranta University of Technology, the Aalto University and the VTT, the Technical Research Centre, have had a single voice in determined participation in ENEN. Our day took place in 2005 when HUT together with VTT technical research centre hosted the final meeting of NEPTUNO. Mr. Antero Tiitta was then a driving force.
For the success of the ENEN one has to thank its members´ commitment and in particular the personal drive of its functionaries, chairmen, secretary
general and board, and EC officials. Personally, I have learned a lot from the quality assurance issues that ENEN has requested to a layman, and later on the multiple interesting "non-technical" issues that have entered in the repertoire of ENEN. The evolution has been extremely vivid and I wish that the mature 10 year old ENEN will keep the hectic pace and further prosper.
Rainer Salomaa, Aalto University, on behalf of the whole Finnish ENEN activists
Reading the memories and remarks collected from Founding Members of ENEN, it is felt that the work necessary for establishing the Association and making it grow was deployed with passionate commitment, becoming one of the primary objectives for those who were involved in it. The awareness that whatwas being developed was necessary and worth to be pursued is the common feature in the above comments, together with some sense of pride to have contributed to fulfil a duty in the common benefit.
The results obtained so far represent a conspicuous heritage to be consolidated and managed in the benefit of new generations of students and
researchers in the nuclear field. The Founding Members are still mostly active in the Association, thus assuring the necessary continuity in this process. By the way, the lines of actions have been laid down in these ten years and little can be invented more, except for finding always new means for obtaining at better levels the goals that were envisaged for ENEN since the very beginning.
So, Happy 10th Birthday, ENEN! The logo adopted in the last months for celebrating this anniversary will be soon replaced by the ordinary one, meaning that the Association and its management will continue coping with their normal life, made anyway of new projects and challenges. While it will be rather difficult to do much better than in the past, this pause of reflection on the whole picture of ENEN after ten years will serve as a stimulus to improve our effectiveness in any area in which the Association will be called to perform its service.
 IPCC, Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change, Working Group I Contribution to The IPCC Fifth Assessment Report Climate Change 2013:
 Traits of a Healthy Nuclear Safety Culture Revision 1, INPO 12–012, April 2013
The pictures displayed in this paper in the form of collages were mainly provided by Borut Mavko, from the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.
() “The Council welcomes the existence within the European Union of coordinated teaching and training leading to qualifications in the nuclear field, provided notably by the ENEN. The Council hopes that, with the help of the EU, ENEN and its members will continue to develop the coordination of nuclear education and training in Europe. The Council insists that the appropriate conditions must be created for mutual recognition of nuclear professional qualifications throughout the European Union. The Council encourages the Member States and the Commission to establish a "review of professional qualifications and skills" in the nuclear field for the European Union, which would give an overall picture of the current situation and enable appropriate solutions to be identified and implemented.” (EU Council, December 1-2, 2008)
ENEN and RosatomTech signed a Memorandum of Collaboration
25 April 2019 | Aiming to establish the permanent ENEN RU Education & Training Forum, the European Nuclear Education Network and the Rosatom Technical Academy have signed a Memorandum of Cooperation in the field of nuclear education on 16 April 2019. Read more»
“Train-the-trainers” course: Technological Aspects of AES-2006 (VVER-1200)
11 November 2018 | RosatomTech Academy would like to invite university representatives to attend the course for faculty members “Technological Aspects of AES-2006 (VVER-1200). Development of Nuclear Curricula on VVER Technology”. In Saint-Petersburg on 15-23 November 2018. Read more»
International School in Nuclear Engineering 2019
10 November 2018 | The National Institute for Nuclear Science and Technology (INSTN) is organizing the International School in Nuclear Engineering, with 6 one-week advanced courses, aiming at promoting knowledge in the field of reactor physics and nuclear engineering at a high education level, to be held in France, in January and February 2019. Read more»
ENEN and OECD-NEA sign MoU on Nuclear Education and Training
4 November 2018 | On 1 November 2018, the European Nuclear Education Network (ENEN) and the OECD-NEA signed a Memorandum of Understanding to co-operate in the field of nuclear education, training and knowledge transfer. Read more»
The international legal reestructuring of the ENEN has been completed
2 October 2018 | All ENEN’s activities are now performed in the framework of the ENEN AISBL (AISBL = Association internationale sans but lucrative, International Non-Profit Organization), registered at 11 Rue D’Egmont, 1000 Brussels, Belgium. Read more»
ANNETTE Pilot Courses
19 May 2018 | On the website of ENEN, the present offer of pilot courses developed within the frame of ANNETTE is being advertised. Encourage to apply your personnel having already a MSc (doctoral students, researchers, technicians) needing to start, refresh, extend or deepen education and training in the nuclear fields. No course fee is applied for participants through ANNETTE and possible support for participation in the courses can be asked to the ENEN+ project on a competitive basis. Read more»
International Student Competition - IAEA
13 November 2017 | Students (aged 14-18 and currently enrolled in secondary schools) are invited to promote discussion and raise awareness on the current or future impacts and applications of nuclear science and technology in our lives. The students who design and implement the most innovative projects will be eligible for a trip to the Republic of Korea, to present at the conference, visit local schools and institutions, and attend cultural events. Read more»
RadChem 2018 – 18th Radiochemical Conference
11 August 2017 | Czech Chemical Society, Ioannes Marcus Marci Spectroscopic Society and Czech Technical University in Prague are pleased to announce the 18th Radiochemical Conference on 13 – 18 May 2018, Czech Republic. Call for Abstracts: October 2017 Read more»
Extension MoU ENEN - ROSATOM-CICET
22 June 2017 | On June 20th, 2017 during the IX International Forum “ATOMEXPO-2017” ROSATOM-CICE&T and the European Nuclear Education Network Association (ENEN) signed a Memorandum of Understanding renewing the successful cooperation between organizations, which began in 2010. Read more»
Fermi course: Leading a nuclear business. Competence development for academic teachers
18 April 2017 | INBEx-ENEN event: Leading a nuclear business, Competence development for academic teachers. To be held in Uppsala on May 29-30, 2017
Time and place: Uppsala, Sweden. Cost: No participation fees. Maximum number of participants: 30. First come, first serve. Read more»
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