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UNIVERSITY SPIN-OFF FROM UK/FRANCE DECOMMISSIONING
UKAEA Dounreay and the UHI Millennium Institute are to collaborate with their counterparts in France in a ground-breaking initiative to establish common international standards in decommissioning qualifications.
An agreement to share
decommissioning knowledge and experience has been in place between the
UKAEA and the French agency CEA (Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique)
since 1999. This has now been expanded to include education and skills
training in decommissioning through UHI, the Joseph Fourier
University of Grenoble and the National Institute for Nuclear Sciences
The new agreement aims to set common standards for vocational and academic training, the development of a joint European masters degree in nuclear decommissioning and student exchanges between the two countries.
It also raises the prospect of extending common standards in training and education to other European countries where career opportunities are emerging in the decommissioning of early nuclear facilities.
Mr Peter Welsh, director of UKAEA
Dounreay and a board member of the UK's Sector Skills development
agency, said: "This agreement underlines the leading position of
Dounreay in nuclear decommissioning, not only at a UK level but in
European terms as well. Increasingly, as more nuclear facilities
enter their decommissioning phase, the opportunities will increase
for trained personnel to move between countries. This agreement brings
a step closer the existence of common qualifications and standards of
training across Europe, which can only be good news for the career
Hugh Logan, Principal of the UHI academic partner North Highland College, said: "This collaborative European partnership represents the cornerstone of our strategic response to the need for specialised training for decommissioning work."
Dr Christine Feltin, of INSTN, said: "CEA and UKAEA have benefited greatly from the 1999 agreement. The extension of these links to education and training underlines the commitment of both organisations to continuing professional development in the field of nuclear decommissioning."
James Fraser, secretary to UHI, said: "This agreement both underpins UHI's developing expertise in decommissioning with access to the training expertise of CEA and the University of Grenoble and adds a further international dimension to UHI's profile."
Prof Francois Brut, who is charge of masters degrees in nuclear waste management and decommissioning at the University of Grenoble, said: "The agreement with our counterparts in Scotland will open up new opportunities to enhance the learning experiences of students in both countries across the spectrum of skills needed to decommissioning nuclear facilities. It will open European job opportunities to trainees having a good knowledge of approaches to decommissioning in both Scotland and France."
Carroll Buxton, chief executive
of Caithness and Sutherland Enterprise, said: "This agreement clearly
demonstrates the benefits of working in partnership. We recognise the
value of transferability and international recognition of all
qualifications. In the context of decommissioning, this