World Nuclear Association Blog

2nd WNU Summer Institute Alumni Assembly

(WNU) Permanent link


Isis Leslie

The second WNU Summer Institute (WNU SI) Alumni Assembly, held from 31 March – 4 April 2014, was a great success. It was hosted by Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the USA and brought together Alumni from across the nine Summer Institute classes, with almost 70 representatives from 15 countries as diverse as China, India, Sweden, France, Brazil, Nigeria, Germany and Canada. We are really pleased that so many nuclear companies are continuing to invest in the young leaders in their companies.

The main aim of the Alumni Assembly is to continue the SI’s legacy of engaging the next generation of nuclear leaders from across the globe, providing a valuable opportunity to further solidify the global Alumni network of peers, and to build upon the foundations laid down at the SI. The programme addressed three main aims: professional development, leadership and peer-to-peer engagement. We heard from a number of great invited leaders, including US Assistant Secretaries Pete Lyons and Tom Countryman, Cameco Vice President Ken Seitz, US NRC Commissioner and appointed OECD/NEA DG William Magwood, Exelon CEO Amir Shakarami and Agneta Rising, WNA DG and WNU President. Presentations from Alumni were also excellent, and we were given some great information, including updates on the nuclear programmes in China, Finland and the UK, and new developments on waste management, safety, security and safeguards, training, research and public involvement in decision making process. 


Participating Alumni had the opportunity to choose a topic of interest for in-depth professional development training over two full days. These were taken in small Groups and we were able to learn from experts from Oak Ridge and across the world. These focussed on research reactors and isotope production, safeguards and inspector training, safety culture and training on security for the technical community.

The programme was complimented by a range of technical visits including tours of High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR), the ORNL supercomputer, the X-10 Graphite Reactor, Safeguards Laboratory and the Canberra Crystal Growing Facility. The Alumni also participated in a range of social activities, both informal and formal, and we were very pleased to be able to attend a reception hosted by the University of Tennessee at the UT Football Stadium, the 3rd largest college sports stadium in the USA. 
All these different elements allowed the participants to not only re-establish their relationships with those from their own SI year but also network with people from different years, consolidating and extending the network and creating a solid foundation for the future of the global nuclear industry. It was a motivating and inspiring event: 

- “The WNU SI was a transformative experience, and the Alumni Assembly allows one to sustain that tranformation over the years” ( Shehab (Sunny) G. Mustafa, Ontario Power Generation) 

We are looking at the possibilities to host the WNU Summer Institute Alumni Assembly 2016, with hopes to organize it in the Asia to encourage the participation of more Alumni from that region.The WNU and the participating Summer Institute Alumni would like to thank Oak Ridge National Laboratory for all their support and for allowing us access to their impressive facilities. Thank to those who supported the event through sending participants, speakers or sponsorship.


WNU Summer Institute 2014 Applications

(WNU) Permanent link

The World Nuclear University Summer Institute is celebrating its tenth anniversary year and applications for the 2014 WNU SI are now invited, with the closing date being 31 January 2014.

The 2014 WNU Summer Institute will be held 5 July - 16 August 2014  at Christ Church College, Oxford, United Kingdom. The official announcement can be found  here  . Applications for IAEA supported places are no longer being accepted. However, Company - or self - funded applicants may submit their application up to the deadline of 31 January 2014. Please send the completed Application Form  with two recommendation letters to and please ensure all required documents are included in a single e-mail.     

WNU SI applicants must provide evidence of meeting ALL the following requirements:   

  •  Master's degree in science, engineering, or business; or reactor operator's licence; or equivalent experience;    
  •  Several years of experience in government or the nuclear industry;    
  •  Knowledge of nuclear fundamentals;    
  •  Demonstrated academic or professional excellence;    
  •  Maximum age of 37, with exceptions to be considered on the basis of unusual merit; and   
  •  Proficiency in English, particularly oral communication, which is essential for effective participation in the WNU-SI programme.    

If you want to know more about the WNU SI please see this video.



WNU Courses start soon

(WNU) Permanent link

The World Nuclear University will be running three courses over the coming weeks. The six-week Summer Institute starts this weekend in Oxford. The course is a comprehensive annual programme which aims to ensure that the future leaders of our industry gain an understanding the many diverse areas that are relevant to nuclear throughout the world.

WNU's one week course will be run in Seoul and then Beijing. These courses are designed to enhance the knowledge of younger people about how nuclear science and technology are applied in the world today, while encouraging an expansive view of where nuclear is likely to go in the future. 

Find out more about the WNU


WNU Courses in Brazil

(WNU) Permanent link

Two World Nuclear University short courses were held in Brazil recently, in WNU short courses in Rio de Janeiro and at the Angra Nuclear Power Plant. 

A team of experts gave presentations on the topics of World Energy; Nuclear Economics; Project Structuring & Financing; Technology Selection; Nuclear Fuel (including trade and transport issues); Responses to Fukushima; Nuclear Politics & Public Acceptance. ABDAN, the national Brazilian nuclear association, helped organise the courses. 


WNU Brazil 2012  


There was a very good response from the delegates at both of the courses.  

More details on the various courses on offer can be found on the WNU website.

WNU Summer Institute 2012 application deadline approaches

(WNU) Permanent link

The deadline for applications to the World Nuclear University Summer Insitute 2012 is approaching for those applicants with financial support confirmed (either through their company or through a sponsor). The final date for receipt of applications is 6th January 2012. 

The World Nuclear University is a partnership created in 2003 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Atoms for Peace initiative, which gave birth to the IAEA. The WNU mission is to support the beneficial use of nuclear technology by uniting industry, academia and inter-governmental organizations in efforts to strengthen nuclear education and leadership.

The most prominent WNU activity is the WNU Summer Institute, a six-week leadership development programme for young, high-potential nuclear professionals held at Christ Church College, Oxford, UK.


2011 SI delegates
WNU SI 2011 Fellows

The Summer Institute programme is designed to expand participants’ horizons across the full spectrum of issues surrounding nuclear energy. Built on a foundation of instruction from some of the world's foremost leaders in science, engineering and the global environment, the programme is augmented by team-building exercises and a week-long technical tour of nuclear and related facilities. The programme is aimed at nuclear professionals between 27 and 37 years of age.

Details of the full range of WNU programmes, and further information about applying to the Summer Institute can be found on our website (

First Nuclear Energy Olympiad held in Korea

(WNU) Permanent link

The 2011 International Nuclear Energy Olympiad was held this week in Seoul. Ten finalist teams presented their Plans for Gaining Public Acceptance of Nuclear Power in their country. Three were from countries not yet having nuclear power. All were students, in teams of two, most ranging in age from 19 to 26.

The judging panel comprised two eminent academics from South Korea, one person from WNU, and one from WNA. (Dr SoonHeung Chang, Dr ChangSup Choi, Mr Francois Perchet and Ian Hore-Lacy).

The result was very close, but Canada took top prize narrowly from South Korea and Turkey. Following up were Malaysia, Russia and India. Each had to present a paper, then a 15-minute Powerpoint and answer questions from the judges. The presentations were closely geared to the cultural and social situations in each country, and were expected to do more than suggesting new ways to communicate facts.

The Olympiad was initiated and hosted by the Korean Nuclear Energy Promotion Agency (KONEPA) and put on under the auspices of the World Nuclear University.

See the WNN report for more information.

World Nuclear University Summer Institute review

(WNU) Permanent link

The 2011 World Nuclear University Summer Institute took place in July and August this year. Rather than report on the event ourselves, we've asked one of the delegates, Jay Disser from Brookhaven National Laboratory to write up their reflections.

"The seventh annual World Nuclear University Summer Institute was held this year at Christ Church at the University of Oxford in the UK. This course was a six week long intensive leadership development program held by the World Nuclear Association. I was fortunate to attend this year’s curriculum through a grant from the Next Generation Safeguards Initiative (NGSI). The institute hosted 78 young professionals, representing a broad range of nuclear careers, from 34 countries. We attended lectures on nuclear topics, heard invited speakers discuss leadership, and participated in dynamic panel discussions with world leaders in the nuclear industry. Not only was this a challenging academic program, but it was also an amazing opportunity to meet and network with peers and leaders from across the industry and throughout the world.

2011 SI delegates

The first two weeks covered the nuclear industry’s role in the global setting, and fuel cycles ranging from mining to the next generation of reactors to decommissioning and transportation. The final three weeks covered non-proliferation and safety, communications, economics, law, and knowledge management. During the third week we had the opportunity to visit an operating Advanced Graphite Reactor, a fuel fabrication facility, and a research centre. During these tours and associated lectures we were able to split up into groups to discuss and come up with questions to probe further into the depth of the issues. During, the last week we split into groups to deliver 20 minute presentations on issues in nuclear power. Some of the topics covered were the public’s fear of nuclear power, reprocessing, and expanding the use of nuclear power.

The most rewarding part for me was the friendships and bonds that were formed with the other fellows throughout the Summer Institute. Opportunities to get to know the other fellows in the University were made possible through the group work and academic discussions of the course. In addition the extra-curricular activities that were set up for us, and the fact that all us were away from home and away from the normalcy of our work and professional lives allowed us to interact in a unique way. We learned a lot at the Institute about nuclear power. What enriched the program even more was that we also learned a lot about each other, our different cultures, backgrounds, and fields. I don’t know if I’ll ever again enjoy dinner with ten colleagues from ten different countries, but I know I will always remember the experiences I had at the World Nuclear University Summer Institute 2011."

First International Nuclear Energy Olympiad

(WNU) Permanent link

Ten teams of students from ten countries have been selected to participate in the first International Nuclear Energy Olympiad taking place in Seoul, 26 – 30 September. The event is being organised by the World Nuclear University and hosted and sponsored by the Korea Nuclear Promotion Agency (KONEPA).

The Olympiad is a communications competition where the teams must research and develop a plan for gaining acceptance of nuclear in their country. This plan will be presented in Seoul to an International Jury, led by WNA's Director of Communication – Ian Hore-Lacy.

A total of 35 teams from 22 countries applied to the Olympiad. The overall calibre of the submissions was extremely high making it extremely hard to select only ten teams. The teams come from: Canada, India, Japan, South Korea, USA, Russia, Turkey, Malaysia, Romania and Mongolia.

WNU One Week Courses held in China and South Korea

(WNU) Permanent link

WNA Deputy Director General, Steve Kidd, has just led two more successful one-week courses as part of the training offered by the World Nuclear University.

Tsinguha 2011
The course held in China was the fifth one-week course held in that country, a sign of the rapid development of nuclear generation in that country.

The second course was held in South Korea, the third one-week course to be held there.


The WNU's one-week courses have now provided training to over 2,000 people.

The next one-week course is being held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, the first time a WNU course is being held in that country.

Meanwhile, this year's six-week World Nuclear University Summer Institute is about to start at Christ Church, Oxford University.