Six NSSPI students, along with NSSPI Director Dr. William Charlton, Texas A&M Department of Nuclear Engineering Department Head Dr. Yassin Hassan, and Dr. Richard MacNamee of the Bush School, traveled to Tokyo, Japan to attend the International Symposium and Seminar on Global Nuclear Human Resource Development for Safety, Security and Safeguards from February 25th – March 7th. The symposium was organized by the Academy for Global Nuclear Safety and Security Agent at the Tokyo Institute of Technology (TI-Tech) in Cooperation with NSSPI, 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 TI-Tech.
While at the symposium and seminar, the students were able to hear speakers from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CBTBO), the Russian Federation National Nuclear Corporation (ROSATOM), the Japan Institute of International Affairs (JIIA), the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), the World Institute for Nuclear Security (WINS), and the Japanese Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA), among others. The sessions covered a wide range of topics that included nuclear security risk analysis, nuclear technologies, nuclear security culture, nuclear energy in the future and non-proliferation issues, and global education on nuclear power and safety, security and safeguards. The students participating in the conference were also from various nuclear disciplines, backgrounds, and nationalities, allowing for dialogue among students from many different points of view.
Dr. Charlton spoke about Nuclear Security Education at Texas A&M as part of the plenary session and gave lectures on “Technologies for Applied Nuclear Security: Detect, Delay, and Response” and “Forensics and Law Enforcement” as part of the technical seminar session. Dr. MacNamee also gave a lecture titled “Threats to Nuclear Security” as part of the seminar session, and NSSPI student Robert Zedric presented the activities of the Texas A&M University Student Chapter of the INMM in the student session.
Field education was another vital aspect of the symposium and seminar. During the field education experience, the students traveled to Hiroshima to visit the Radiation Effects research Foundation (RERF) and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. The trip to the Hiroshima Peace Museum was intended as poignant reminder to the next generation of nuclear security professionals of the importance of preventing (whether through safety, security, or safeguards) an incident such as Hiroshima and Nagasaki from ever happening again. A survivor of the Hiroshima bombing presented her first-hand account of the destruction and sorrow in the aftermath of the Hiroshima bombing to the group. Other educational experiences included a visit to the MONJU Fast Breeder Reactor in Tsuruga, Japan, where students visited their sodium handling training facility, secondary cooling loop, control room, and the area where the liquid sodium leak occurred. The field experiences also included cultural and historical visits, giving students a taste of Japanese culture and exposing them to cities all across Japan, including Hiroshima, Miyajima, Kyoto, Tsuruga, and Tokyo.