The need for training of experts on physical protection, accounting and control of nuclear materials in Ukraine is rather high. After the loss of regulatory control over nuclear energy use facilities in Donetsk and Luhansk regions and the Crimea, the issue related to protection of nuclear facilities became more acute.
In the expert community, it has been said that the country shall be prepared in advance to all sorts of hazards: sabotages, other unforeseen circumstances, especially when it comes to strategic nuclear facilities. Experts are sure that professionals on physical protection shall be trained in Ukraine to prevent the threat.
The Ihor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute together with the George Kuzmycz Training Center for Physical Protection, Control and Accounting of Nuclear Material under support of the Ministry of Energy and Coal Industry of Ukraine, Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine and Department of Energy of the USA in 2019 will open a new specialization to train experts on physical protection, accounting and control of nuclear materials. This project is being implemented within the framework of the Global Partnership initiative.
Uatom.org editorial board talked to Yevhen Pysmenny, Dean of the Faculty of Heat Power Engineering of the Ihor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic University, Technical ScD, Professor, Honored Worker of Science and Technology of Ukraine, to find more details on the specialization.
– Mr. Pysmenny, how long have you been working at KPI? Since when have you been managing opening of a new specialization on physical protection, accounting and control of nuclear materials?
– I have been working in the Ihor Sikorsky Polytechnic University since 1972. In fact, I graduated from it the same year. I was offered to work as an engineer in the heat exchange and gas dynamics laboratory. A year later, I became an assistant in steam generator construction and engineering thermal physics department. Since then, I have been engaged in scientific and pedagogical activity. I defended PhD thesis in 1985 and ScD thesis in 1994. In 1995, I headed the department of nuclear power plants and engineering thermal physics and worked as a head for 20 years. I became the dean of the faculty of heat power engineering in 2001. Due to the ban on combining positions in 2015, I had to leave the position of the department head. Now I am a research advisor of the department of nuclear power plants and engineering department.
I have been working on the opening of the specialization on physical protection, accounting and control of nuclear materials in the Ihor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute for more than two years.
– Any higher educational institution does not train experts on physical protection, accounting and control of nuclear materials in Ukraine. Why is this specialization important?
– Yes, you are right. Today, any educational establishment does not train experts in this field. For a short period of time, experts on physical protection, accounting and control of nuclear materials have been trained in Sevastopol National University of Nuclear Energy and Industry. Due to the annexation of the Crimea in 2014, Ukraine has lost the opportunity to train experts in this field.
Opening of the specialization is extremely important. Ensuring nuclear safety is the basis of the stable development of the state. True professionals shall guard national safety for Ukrainians to sleep calmly. Therefore, our task is to train such professionals.
– What department is planning to introduce a specialization?
– There is a department of nuclear power plants and engineering thermal physics in the faculty of heat power engineering. The department has a specialty “Nuclear Energy” to train experts in the specialization “Nuclear Power Plants”. Based on this specialization, we are planning to open one more specialization “Physical Protection, Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials”. We have great support in this issue by the George Kuzmycs Training Center for Physical Protection, Control and Accounting of Nuclear Material, Ministry of Energy and Coal Industry of Ukraine, Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine and the Department of Energy of the USA.
– Many people believe that experts on physical protection of nuclear facilities shall be trained at the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Security Service of Ukraine. Why does KPI decided to do this?
– In fact, people usually confuse experts on physical protection and experts on prompt response. We will train technical experts, who after graduation will operate the systems for physical protection of nuclear facilities, be involved in the development of innovative systems. They will not run with automatic rifles and will not reveal terrorists.
Students shall be provided with fundamental knowledge of nuclear issues to become good technical experts, engineers. Therefore, KPI will be the best option for training of experts in this area.
– Does KPI have the technical base for training of experts?
– Frankly speaking, there is no necessary base for practical training of students in KPI. However, we are extremely lucky to have such base in Kyiv in the Institute for Nuclear Research of the National Academy of Science of Ukraine. There is George Kuzmycs Training Center for Physical Protection, Control and Accounting of Nuclear Material with a real field equipped by relevant infrastructure and modern equipment, laboratories with radiation sources and devices for laboratory tests. Actually, there is everything you need for training of students. Therefore, only in close cooperation with the Center we will succeed in training of experts on physical protection, accounting and control of nuclear materials.
– Who will teach students?
– With the financial support of the US Department of Energy, seven KPI teachers have been trained abroad. The training was held in the Research University of Texas at Austin and the National Laboratory of the United States in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
We see the following model for student training: students entering the first year in specialty “Nuclear energy” will indicate the specialization of further studying for master’s degree. Having obtained bachelor’s degree, they will have to choose between “Nuclear power plants” and “Physical protection, accounting and control of nuclear materials”.
– Are there textbooks for student training?
– The US Department of Energy has agreed to finance all set of educational materials, textbooks, curricula and working programs.
– What subjects are foreseen in the studying process?
– Master’s degree in physical protection, accounting and control of nuclear materials will last for one and a half years for masters in engineering and two years for masters of science. During this time, students will study about 15 new disciplines. Among them: “Design and assessment of physical protection systems”, “Technologies and equipment of physical protection systems”, “Information and computer security”, “Assessment of vulnerability of nuclear facilities and risk management”, “Management of emergencies and crisis situations at nuclear facilities” and others.
– The opening of the specialization will start in KPI. Is it planned in other cities of Ukraine?
– Odesa National Polytechnic University last year announced the opening of the specialization on physical protection, accounting and control of nuclear materials. As far as I know, they did not manage to find students.
– When do you expect pilot admission to KPI?
– Actually, we planned to start in 2018, but the US partners insisted on 2019. Everyone who admitted the specialty “Nuclear energy” this year, last year and the year before last will also be able to obtain a degree in physical protection, accounting and control of nuclear materials.
Uatom.org editorial board