Argonne | Nuclear Engineering Division | IAEA Programs | Training Courses

Interregional Nuclear Energy Information Workshop

3-6 August 2015


The main objective of this workshop is to provide Member States with a high level overview of the benefits, risks and challenges associated with nuclear energy. After receiving this overview Member States will be better placed to make an informed decision on whether to invest in the resource intensive activities necessary to initiate a nuclear energy programme. Specifically the workshop will focus on providing information at a rigorous but accessible level (i.e. information at an 'overview' level) in a number of areas on a comparative assessment basis. The audience for the workshop will be primarily technical in nature - i.e. mid- to senior-level civil servants and potentially academics (insofar as these may be involved in national energy policy development) of Member States who may be contemplating initiating some of the activities required to initiate a nuclear energy programme in their respective countries.

Expected Output(s)

The expected outputs of the workshop are:

  • Improved ability to make an informed decision regarding the possible contribution of nuclear energy to participants' national energy mixes
  • Enhanced ability to address the challenges and issues relating to building a national position on nuclear energy
  • Enhanced networking opportunities among participants.

Nature of the course

This workshop, planned for 4 working days, will be divided into the following 10 training modules:

Module 01: Drivers of nuclear energy
Economics of nuclear energy:
Module 02: Cost structure of nuclear energy
Module 03: Levelized costs and system costs
Module 04: Evaluating economic impacts (GDP/employment)
Environmental and other 'non-market' benefits:
Module 05: Environmental performance
Module 06: Energy diversity/supply security
Energy planning:
Module 07: Energy planning
Module 08: Pre-feasibility & feasibility studies
Challenges of nuclear energy
Module 08: Accident costs and risk allocation
Module 09: Funding and financing of decommissioning/SNF disposal
IAEA 'Milestones' Approach
Module 10: Milestones approach: 3 stages, 19 issues
Other Aspects
Course Administration

The workshop will be conducted as a series of presentations by IAEA staff, international experts, management and technical specialists of the Argonne National Laboratory, the United States and other countries. The programme will also include discussions and exercises.

In addition, the course will discuss opportunities for participants to network and continue sharing information and good practices, as well as other potential follow-up tasks and coordinated activities, as appropriate.

Background Information

For several years until 2012 the IAEA organized a series of 'Nuclear Energy Information Missions' (NIEMs) designed to offer those Member States without a nuclear energy programme with a high level overview of the benefits, risks and challenges of nuclear energy - to explore whether nuclear energy could be a viable option for their country and when. The approach was to present and discuss nuclear power in the context of the full energy system, i.e., comparing nuclear energy's benefits and risks with alternative forms of electricity generation from the energy, economic and environmental (3E) perspective.

The current proposal is for similar workshop, to be organized jointly with Argonne National Laboratory, designed to facilitate information sharing and to raise awareness of the benefits, risks and challenges of nuclear energy amongst Member States who have not yet begun the 'Phase 1' activities described in the IAEA's 'Milestones' approach. The NEIW would help participants form a view on whether an investment in the activities contemplated in Phase 1 could be worthwhile.