From August 10 - 20, 2012, NSSPI faculty and students traveled
to Tomsk in Russia to participate in the 6th
International Nonproliferation Summer School: "Nuclear
Technologies: Nonproliferation, Disarmament, and Peaceful Use of
Nuclear Energy." They also met with and discussed joint research
and educational projects with Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU)
faculty, signed a joint TAMU-TPU Memorandum of Understanding (MOU),
and toured the TPU Museum, Exhibition Center, Educational
laboratories, and the Atomic Energy Information Center.
At the Nonproliferation Summer School, 26 students from Russia,
the Ukraine, and the US, along with 16 experts from various
organizations around the world were gathered to participate in a
week-long course on nuclear nonproliferation. The student
participants represented a variety of both technical and policy
backgrounds and were at different stages of their educational
careers, anywhere from 3rd year undergraduates to
During the course of the school, students participated in a
various activities, including lectures and presentations by
experts, presentations by fellow students, hands-on exercises and
simulation games, a writing/speaking workshop for Russian-speaking
students, and social activities in the evenings.
Two simulation games were carried out relating to creating a
physical security system for a nuclear reactor and negotiating a
tactical nuclear weapon reduction treaty. During the first
exercise, groups of students were given a layout of a reactor
facility and a set of security equipment to use. They were asked to
develop a full security system for the site, justify choices of the
security plan, and determine locations of various protection
measures and security sensors. During the second simulation,
participants were asked to represent a variety of European NATO
states, Russia, Ukraine, United States, and several non-weapon
states around the world. The goal of the simulation was to
potentially negotiate a treaty aimed at reducing the number of
tactical nuclear weapons on the European continent.
While in Tomsk, the TAMU delegation achieved a major milestone
towards closer collaboration between the two universities after the
MOU outlining areas of joint work was signed by TPU rector Chubik
and TAMU president, Bowen Loftin.
The TAMU students also toured the TPU Museum, Exhibition Center
and Educational laboratories of the Physics Technical Institute
(PhTI). US participants were presented with the history of one of
the oldest universities in Siberia and a variety of educational
programs and major accomplishments of its professors and students.
They also saw laboratories featuring nondestructive assay
instrumentation, physical security equipment, radiochemistry and
other laboratories used in nuclear security and nonproliferation
education programs at PhTI.
On the last day of the Summer School, all participants toured
the Atomic Energy Information Center in Tomsk. The main purpose of
the Center is educating public on about various aspects of nuclear
energy, the nuclear fuel cycle and, particularly, the safety of
nuclear operations. Students participated in an interactive
presentation on nuclear waste handling and disposal.
The TAMU delegation consisted of NSSPI faculty member Dr.
Alexander Solodov and students Jessica Feener, Matt Fitzmaurice,
Braden Goddard, Zak Kulage, Eowyn Pedicini, Kate Putman, Matt
Sternat, and TPU alumnus Alexandra Khudoleeva.
The visit of the TAMU delegation to TPU and the Nonproliferation
Summer School had extensive coverage in the local media. Some of
the media reports can be found here:
There were also several interviews for radio and newspaper
coverage by both experts and students.