World Nuclear University

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The World Nuclear University (WNU) is a partnership which was created in 2003 on the 50th anniversary of U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower's ‘Atoms for Peace’ initiative, and is recognized as a "Partnership for Sustainable Development" by the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD).

The WNU is a not-for-profit organisation which runs a series of programmes throughout the world. As of September 2011, over 2200 nuclear professionals and students from over 60 countries have participated in WNU programmes.

The majority of WNU programmes are aimed at professionals already working within the nuclear industry, and the programmes aim to further the cause of the peaceful applications of nuclear technologies. Many are focussed on building leadership skills, and providing a broad perspective on the key issues in peaceful nuclear applications.

WNU programmes[edit]

The major programmes offered by the World Nuclear University are:

Summer Institute[edit]

Run every year in July and August, this is the biggest event[1] on the WNU calendar. The Summer Institute is an intensive six-week leadership development programme tailored specially to young leaders in the industry. The programme is composed of lectures, small working group activities and a technical tour which combines to give participants a grounding in all aspects of the nuclear industry, with additional presentations focussed on specific aspects of leadership. Each year a small number of Fellows participate thanks to IAEA[2] ‘Technical Cooperation’ sponsorship.

School of uranium production[edit]

The School of Uranium production is run under WNU auspices from the Czech Republic. The programmes[3] focus on all aspects of uranium production, from surveying and exploration, to extraction and ore processing, environmental and health protection and the decommissioning and rehabilitation of mining areas.

One-week course[edit]

WNU also runs a number of one-week courses, held with partner universities around the world. The ‘one week’ courses are focused on "Key Issues in the World Nuclear Industry Today” and they are open to all interested participants. They are focused on improving younger people’s knowledge of today’s nuclear industry, and exploring where nuclear might go in future.

One-day course[edit]

The WNU one-day courses are an intensive way to quickly address the many important issues in nuclear technologies. The courses are often held on a request basis, and can be focused on the requirements of the host company. Participants come from a variety of backgrounds and no prior knowledge of energy, electricity or nuclear is required.

Nuclear Olympiad[edit]

The International Nuclear Olympiad was held for the first time in 2011 in South Korea. It is a contest for university students around the world to research and develop a plan for gaining public acceptance of nuclear technology in their country.

School on Radiation Technologies[edit]

The WNU School on Radiation Technologies is a three week programme designed for promising young professionals working in radiation-related industries, research institutes and universities. Like the Summer Institute, this programme features lectures, group activities and technical visits.


The WNU founding members include the World Nuclear Association (WNA), International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development – Nuclear Energy Agency (OECD-NEA). The WNU is also supported by a substantial number of intergovernmental organisations, academic institutions and industry globally.[4] The WNU is run from the WNU Coordinating Centre, hosted in the WNA offices in London, UK. Much of the staff time and support dedicated to the WNU is provided on a pro-bono basis by the WNA.

The WNU President is Mrs Agneta Rising, WNA Director General. The WNU’s Chancellor is Dr Hans Blix, the IAEA’s Director General-Emeritus, who headed that UN agency for 16 years and later served as chief of the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission. The Head of WNU is Dr. Patricia Wieland.


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  4. ^ Supporters of the WNU

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