18 experts from seven IAEA Member States and two nuclear educational networks (ENEN and STAR-NET) participated in the three-day virtual meeting (14-16 December 2020) to explore cooperation between the IAEA’s International Project on Innovative Nuclear Reactors and Fuel Cycles (INPRO) and higher education institutions to foster a better understanding of sustainable nuclear energy system development and deployment. The experts discussed and identified key issues and opportunities for cooperation and developed a set of recommendations to the IAEA for consideration and further implementation.
The meeting participants recognized the INPO key role in assisting Member States in developing and delivering education and training programmes on Nuclear Energy System Development. It was noted that INPRO has developed an extremely valuable set of resources and tools that could be substantial contributions to academic nuclear engineering programs around the world. An important contribution of INPRO would be to find effective ways to develop collaboration with the IAEA and higher education institutions so that these important resources can be effectively utilized for the benefit of emerging leaders in the field of nuclear energy. It is essential that the IAEA’s concept of sustainable nuclear energy development, the INPRO methodology for nuclear energy systems sustainability assessment, and the developed tools will be delivered to young professionals, lecturers and students of technical universities, who will further be engaged in development and deployment of sustainable solutions for nuclear energy systems in the IAEA Member States.
The International Project on Innovative Nuclear Reactors and Fuel Cycles, or INPRO, was established in 2001 in response to a resolution by the IAEA General Conference to help to ensure that nuclear energy is available to contribute, in a sustainable manner, to meeting the energy needs of the 21st century. The activities of INPRO are derived from the UN (Brundtland) concept of sustainable development: “Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” with a focus on economics, safety, security, environmental impact, non-proliferation and effective national and international infrastructures. These became the assessment areas of the INPRO Methodology, a holistic, comprehensive approach to assess an existing or planned nuclear energy system and decide whether it would provide a sustainable energy supply in the long term.
INPRO supports Member States in their long-term planning for deploying sustainable nuclear energy. It provides direct support related to advanced and innovative nuclear energy system scenario modelling, analysis, and sustainability assessment using the INPRO Methodology and through facilitating dialogue, cooperation and collaboration among Member States in their respective roles as nuclear energy technology developers, suppliers and customers.