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William D. Magwood, IV: We are looking for ways to encourage young people

AtomInfo.Ru, PUBLISHED 30.06.2019

XI International Forum ATOMEXPO 2019 was held on April 15-16, 2019. The Director-General of the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Mr William D. Magwood, IV, participated in the session.

On the sidelines of the event Mr Magwood answered the questions of Russian independent nuclear online newspaper AtomInfo.Ru.

William D. Magwood, IV

Interviewer: We are very pleased to see you again in Sochi. What is your opinion about the ATOMEXPO forum?

DG Magwood: First of all, it is a pleasure to me. It is my third ATOMEXPO and second time in Sochi. I like the event much better this time because the weather has been nice. And I think that the organizers have done a fantastic job with this particular one. We are in a venue which is in the center of the complex with an ancient tree in the middle. I think this is such a fantastic setup.

I think that the exhibits have been much more clear and neat, and the discussions have been very informative. So I think this has been the best ATOMEXPO I have attended.

It is really amazing to see so many people. As I understand, there are 3 500 people that are here from around the world to talk about nuclear technology, nuclear safety and other relating issues. So I think this has been a tremendous success and I am pleased to be here.

Interviewer: What about your activities at the Agency in the field of innovation and education?

DG Magwood: I think our members have understood that one of the biggest issues going forward is making sure that we have a new generation of young people that can take up the work of developing, deploying and operating nuclear facilities in the future.

In some countries this has become a bit of a problem. In some countries there are not enough young people going into the nuclear field. So we have been looking for ways to encourage them to study nuclear sciences and technology. In this respect, we have some activities, such as mentoring workshops to encourage the young students, particularly young ladies, to go into science and technology. I find that very important.

We also launched a very important new initiative called NEST, the NEA Nuclear Education, Skills and Technology Framework, which allows our membership to create international projects that enable students in universities around the world to work together. These are hands-on projects on practical issues and we have ten countries that have agreed to go forth with the framework, and we have many more that are anxious to join. We think this will be a major help to the countries trying to encourage people to join the nuclear field.

And I think there are more projects that we will be doing in the future in this area, because attracting young people into the nuclear field is becoming really the most important single issue facing the future of nuclear energy in many countries.

Interviewer: Thank you very much for your interview for AtomInfo.Ru.

Topics: Interview

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