The International Institute of Nuclear Energy (I2EN), in cooperation with the Ministry of Climate and Environment and under the High Patronage of the French Embassy in Poland, organized on March 2 2022 the special event “Build Poland’s Nuclear Energy”, aiming to present the nuclear industry and its opportunities to Polish students and professors as well as to promote the academic cooperation between Poland and France in the nuclear sector.
The representative of the Ministry of Climate and Environment, Paweł Pytlarczyk, deputy director of the Nuclear Energy Department, stressed “an essential element of the plan for the implementation and development of nuclear energy in Poland, deserving special attention, is the development and expansion of qualified personnel. Providing highly educated and well-trained personnel, able to actively co-create a unique infrastructure and safety culture is one of the most important tasks in the process of preparing for the construction and operation of nuclear power plants.”
Mr. Thierry Salmon, French Nuclear Advisor for Visegrad group and representative of the French Ambassador in Warsaw stated “To build up a knowledgeable and competent workforce, students need to be attracted to careers that are exciting and have long-term prospects. It starts with quality academic training and our French universities and engineering schools are eager to work more closely with their Polish counterparts. We are counting on the I2EN to make this possible.”
From the Polish side, students and their professors heard from the Polish government about the Polish nuclear programme. Representatives of the Polish industry explained their future needs. Polish professors stressed ways to attract more students in the nuclear sector during a dedicated roundtable. Three young Polish nuclear engineers, one working in Poland, two in France shared their personal experience and enthusiasm.
From the French side, EDF representatives based in France and in the United Kingdom pointed out the high-tech aspects and challenges of the nuclear sector. EDF representatives also highlighted the impact on the local community of the Hinkley Point C power plant under construction (United Kingdom) with a particular focus on education, training, and employment.
In a roundtable and brainstorming session with professors from Poland, the discussion centered around how to attract more students to study subjects to the nuclear energy progamme.
The seminar ended with a presentation of nuclear academic programmes open to international students in France (Grenoble INP, IMT Atlantique and Paris-Saclay University) and the opportunities for the development of more dual degrees and exchange programmes between Polish and French universities and engineering schools with apprenticeships in industry in France and the United Kingdom.
The event brought together 206 participants in person and online, including students and professors from the following eight universities: Akademia Górniczo-Hutnicza, Politechnika Gdańska, Politechnika Łódzka, Politechnika Poznańska, Politechnika Śląska, Politechnika Warszawska, Uniwersytet Marie Curie-Skłodowskiej, Uniwersytet Warszawski.