A Message From the Chair
When we look at the potential for the development of new nuclear power generation in this country and around the world, there is little doubt that the March 2011 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant will loom large for years to come. There are many factors that will impact the pace of new nuclear development, but however it progresses, the industry will have a need for a well-prepared workforce. The workforce history, the areas of need, and the forces of demographics have not changed, and we know that continued hard work will be required in nuclear engineering education and nuclear technician training programs to keep the pipeline full.
What we don’t know is how the Fukushima accident will affect our ability to attract high quality individuals into the nuclear field. The accident is bound to cause an emotional response in people. How will people’s emotions affect their career choices?
It will be years, if ever, before the impact of the accident on the industry and on workforce development is truly understood. The early evidence is anecdotal at best, but what news there is thus far appears to be good. We have not seen students fleeing from university nuclear engineering programs. On the contrary, students are energized and rededicated to the idea of making the next generation of nuclear power plants even better.
The Fukushima aftermath will no doubt challenge those of us in the Education, Training, and Workforce Development fields for some time, but it is a challenge we are up to.
The ETWDD has a full slate of sessions at the upcoming ANS Winter Meeting in Washington, DC. They include:
- Focus on Communications: Meet the Media–Panel
- Focus on Communications: Communicating with Policy Makers–Panel
- Student Design Competition
- Nonproliferation and Radwaste Management Education at University
- The Innovations in Fuel Cycle Research Awards Program— A Student Competition
- Kent W. Hamlin Memorial Session—Best of CONTE 2011
- International Workforce Development Needs–Panel
- Education and Training and Workforce Development: General
- Is There a Need to Reestablish Radioecology Education and Training in the United States?–Panel
- Partnerships with Minority Serving Institutions and Nuclear Engineering Education–Panel
- Nuclear Security Education Program
- Methods for Nonproliferation Risk Assessment and Safeguards—Next Generation Technology Applications
I hope I will see you there!
Peter F. Caracappa
Chair, Education, Training, and Workforce Development Division