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New IAEA training tool used to assist Senegal with its nuclear research reactor project

9th January 2023

By: Rebecca Campbell

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

     

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The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), a specialist organisation of the United Nations system, highlighted on Friday that it has piloted a new training tool in Senegal, in support of the West African country’s plan to acquire a research reactor. The piloting of the new tool took place in Dakar, from December 12 to December 16.

Designated the IAEA Human Resource Modelling Tool for New Research Reactor Programmes, the new training system is intended to help countries to determine and develop the skilled workforces they will need to implement new research reactor programmes. Using modelling, the tool will help these countries to address the human resources requirements of every step in such programmes, from planning research reactors to operating them.

“The IAEA supports countries in every step of a research reactor’s life cycle, including developing the nuclear infrastructure needed for the facility’s construction, safe and secure operation and utilisation,” pointed out IAEA Research Reactor Section head Petr Chakrov. “With this pilot training session in Senegal, we have kicked off a new initiative aimed at enhancing our support for countries looking to develop the necessary workforce for a new research reactor programme.”

Senegal is planning to construct a research reactor. A feasibility study will most probably take place during the early part of this year.

“The management of human resources is the pillar of a successful project development,” highlighted Senegal Petroleum and Energy Ministry general secretary and research reactor project technical coordinator Cheikh Niane. “We should define what is the state of our workforce to support a nuclear programme in the country, and what should be our recruitment pool. We will start it as of now with the trained team comprised of key stakeholders.”

The training programme was conducted by an IAEA-led team of three personnel and involved 12 Senegalese officials. It saw the demonstration of the new tool, plus its installation and configuration on the Senegalese participants’ computers. Further, basic skills in employing dynamic modelling were taught. And exercises were run, examining scenarios by using the tool. Issues also covered included good practices regarding safety and staffing for the regulatory body, workforce planning, operator and regulator perspectives, and human resources data relevant to research reactor programmes.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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