Long-term operation of the Swedish Centre for Nuclear Technology (SKC): New challenges and solutions in competence building
Paper in proceedings, 2016
The Swedish Centre for Nuclear Technology (Svenskt Kärntekniskt Centrum, SKC) is a national initiative to perform industry relevant research at Swedish universities, and to support dedicated education of direct use to the Swedish nuclear industry.
SKC has been the meeting point between industry and academia for 25 years, and has coped with varying needs from industry and political situations. The present situation in the Nordic countries is split: Sweden plans to shut down four out of ten reactors by 2020, while Finland is planning and constructing new reactors. Even without a strong signal to construct new reactors in Sweden, the need for nuclear competence will stay, as we have challenges in front of us to operate and dismantle power plants, operate the intermediate storage facility CLAB in Oskarshamn, and to build and fill the final repositories in Forsmark.
The education supported by the SKC at the selected universities will facilitate possible recruitment for nuclear installations. The funding body of SKC consists of all the Swedish Nuclear Power Plants (NPP) situated in Forsmark (three BWRs), Oskarshamn (three BWRs) and Ringhals (one BWR and three PWRs), and the nuclear fuel manufacturer (Westinghouse), while the main research and education is carried out at Chalmers, KTH Royal Institute of Technology and Uppsala University with corresponding in-kind contribution. The research activities cover highly requested studies for today’s nuclear fleet: material embrittlement, stress-corrosion cracking, accident-tolerant fuel development and ageing management for long-term operation (LTO), while the educational part consists of Bachelor and Master programmes as well as elective courses for students outside the main nuclear programmes and contract education.
In the master programmes, focus is on e-learning platforms for courses and examination. Examples from such development are to be presented in the full contribution to the conference. Another success story is project based courses in industry, especially within the Bachelor programmes. This is highly appreciated by students, providing a direct contact with future employers,
The success of SKC originates from close contact between the funding bodies and academia on many levels: base funding for course preparation, project support in annual calls, and dedicated long-term research funding. But also dedicated industrial experts, and an enthusiasm from academia to enlighten present research issues, as well as strong presence at universities during student fairs and career days. That is LTO of SKC!