Nuclear engineering students attend international symposium in Tokyo

NSSPI Tokyo 2

Daniel Hellfeld, Jonathan Scherr and Matthew Garza, students from the Department of Nuclear Engineering at Texas A&M University, traveled to Tokyo for the 4th International Symposium and Seminar on Global Nuclear Human Resource Development for Safety, Security, and Safeguards titled “Nuclear Safety in the Post-Fukushima Era” from Feb. 17-26. The symposium and seminar was organized by the Academy for Global Nuclear Safety and Security Agent at the Tokyo Institute of Technology in cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Embassy of France in Japan, the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), the Japan chapter of the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management (INMM), and the International Nuclear Research Collaboration Center at the Tokyo Institute of Technology.

Students and young professionals from various countries and disciplines gathered at the symposium and seminar to hear presentations from organizations such as the Embassy of France in Japan, the French Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the Japanese Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA), the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), the Toshiba Corporation Power Systems Company, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), among others. The presentations were focused on topics such as the Fukushima nuclear accident and the current state of the Fukushima Daiichi facility, effective risk management and communication, the importance of education and leadership in safety and resilience management, creating safety culture in the nuclear regime, and safety improvements for future nuclear reactors.

As part of the symposium and seminar, Dr. William Charlton, professor in the Department of Nuclear Engineering and director of the TEES Nuclear Security Science and Policy Institute, gave a presentation titled “Synergies and Conflicts on Nuclear Safety and Security Risk Analysis in Reactor Design Courses.” Charlton discussed the benefits and challenges associated with the recent integration of nuclear safety and security design into the graduate-level nuclear reactor design course at Texas A&M.  

NSSPI Tokyo 1

In addition to listening to presentations and interacting with the speakers, the invited students and young professionals travelled to Fukushima prefecture for two days to tour the Fukushima Daiichi and Daini nuclear power plants. At the Fukushima Daiichi facility, the attendees were able to tour the Anti-Seismic Building, which serves as the headquarters for the decommissioning work currently being done at the facility. The attendees were also taken on a bus tour throughout the facility to observe reactor buildings 1 through 6, the water treatment facility, and the contaminated water storage tanks. At the Fukushima Daini facility located 20 kilometers south of the Daiichi plant, the attendees were able to tour the diesel generator room as well as enter containment in reactor building 2. While in Fukushima, the participants also performed field work with several radiation detectors in order to measure the radiation dose levels and to compare the measurements to the measured levels in Tokyo.

Finally, the invited students and young professionals were divided into multinational groups and each given a separate topic relating to nuclear safety. Over the course of two days, each group researched their topic and presented their findings in the form of a 20-minute presentation.