Prof. Leon Cizelj

Affiliation: Jožef Stefan Institute (Slovenia) and European Nuclear Education Network (ENEN)

Prof. Leon Cizelj Short bio

Leon Cizelj is Head of Reactor Engineering Division of the Jožef Stefan Institute, Ljubljana, Slovenia ( Responsible for the strategic and operational leadership of the division active in nuclear engineering and safety of nuclear installations. Activities include research, postgraduate education, technical and scientific support to the Slovenian nuclear regulatory body and technical and scientific consulting to end users. Full professor of nuclear engineering at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, Faculty of mathematics and physics. President of the ENEN (European Nuclear Education Network Association in 2016, 2017 and 2018. Associate editor of Journal of Nuclear Engineering and radiation Science ASME. Member of the editorial board of Science and Technology of Nuclear Installations. Ph. D. in Physics 1993, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. Author or coauthor of more than 700 publications more than 100 interventions in the Slovenian mainstream media.

Presentation Title: Attracting & Developing New Nuclear Talents: Rebalancing Know-Why and Know-How

Abstract of presentation:

Attracting, developing and retaining new talents for nuclear careers are fundamental for the sustainable and safe utilization of nuclear power in the future. Excellent technical specialists understanding the installations of increasing complexity are working in multidisciplinary, multicultural and highly competitive environments.

First signs that the nuclear higher education might be dwindling were noted and reported in high-level documents at the end of the 20th century (e.g., OECD/NEA, 2000, Nuclear Education and Training: A Cause for Concern?). These documents included comprehensive sets of bottom-up and top-down recommendations to preserve and improve the nuclear higher education and training.

Nearly 20 years after the first signs of dwindling nuclear education, the main concerns persist and seem to be reinforced by the phase out of nuclear power declared in many OECD countries. A recent in-depth analysis by Prof. Bum-Jin-Chung (Attracting a High Quality Nuclear Workforce- Recollection of the Nuclear Knowledge Management, keynote lecture at 3rd IAEA Int Conf on Human Resourced Development for Nuclear Power Programs, May 2018, Gyeongju, Korea) pointed to some very plausible reasons for the persistent concerns, including:

  • Tendency to solve the easy problems first;
  • Tendency to be more concerned about HOW and WHAT then WHY.

An insight in the current nuclear ETKM situation will be discussed and in terms of the inherent incompatibility of the “know-how” and “know-why” cultures.

WHY is usually associated with curiosity, knowledge, higher education, research, and academia. Similarly, HOW and WHAT may be associated with needs, training, skills, experience, knowledge management, industry and knowledge communities.

Some possible ways to overcome the persistent concerns in nuclear education will be proposed also proposed. All of them call for high level of support, coordination and partnership between all nuclear stakeholders, especially those involved in all levels of decision-making.