Nuclear Nonproliferation and Safeguards Education at Universities

By Lenka Kollar

I recently attended a Safeguards Education Roundtable at the Argonne National Laboratory sponsored by the Next Generation Safeguards Initiative (NGSI).  University professors and nonproliferation experts from U.S. national laboratories met at this event to discuss safeguards education at universities. The goal of NGSI is to “to develop the policies, concepts, technologies, expertise, and infrastructure necessary to sustain the international safeguards system” as it evolves in the future. A major pillar of the program is developing the next generation of professionals to work in the nonproliferation and safeguards field—and to make sure that the next generation of nuclear professionals is aware of nonproliferation and safeguards issues.

The employment opportunities for students interested in nonproliferation are quite diverse. National laboratories in the United States and around the world perform technical and policy research to address safeguards issues. The International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna also employs safeguards inspectors and other professionals working in safeguards, security, and nuclear energy development.

Even if students are not interested in working directly in the nonproliferation field, it is important that these issues are brought to the attention of nuclear professionals as they enter the workforce. Safeguards and security are very important within the nuclear industry and nonproliferation is a worldwide issue. An increasing number of nuclear engineering programs are including nonproliferation education within their curricula.

The goal of the roundtable at Argonne was to familiarize university professors with nonproliferation education and to discuss how NGSI can help with curriculum development. Attending professors came from a variety of universities and programs, both engineering and policy. In many instances, engineering and policy professors have worked together at universities to provide nonproliferation education for students of both fields.

Below are some resources that professors and students can use to teach and learn more about nonproliferation and safeguards. NGSI also sponsors classes that students and young or mid-career professionals can attend.

Textbook: Deterring Nuclear Proliferation: The Importance of IAEA Safeguards by Michael D. Rosenthal et al.

Textbook: Nuclear Safeguards, Security, and Nonproliferation: Achieving Security with Technology and Policy by James E. Doyle

Nuclear Safeguards Education Portal

International Atomic Energy Agency

Nuclear Nonproliferation, Safeguards and Security (NSSS) in the 21st Century
Brookhaven National Laboratory
Three-week course in June
Application Deadline: Mid March

International Safeguards Policy and Information Analysis
Monterey Institute of International Studies & Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Five-day course in June
Application Deadline: Early March

Nuclear Nonproliferation and International Safeguards
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Two 3-day courses in June and July
Application Deadline: Late April

Safeguards Pre-Inspector Course
Idaho National Laboratory
Two-week course in March/April
Application Deadline: Early February

Finally, if you’re interested in becoming more involved in nonproliferation within the American Nuclear Society, check out the Nuclear Nonproliferation Technical Group!

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Lenka_Kollar_casual_small 125x125Lenka Kollar is the Owner & Editor of Nuclear Undone, a blog and consulting company focusing on educating the public about nuclear energy and nonproliferation issues. She is an active ANS member, serving as Secretary of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Technical Group and member of the Professional Women in ANS Committee. Connect with Lenka on LinkedIN and Twitter.