Programme overview


“Success and innovation is achieved when both men and women are equally involved in education and decision-making processes. The WNU Summer Institute is committed to building the next generation’s nuclear leadership by embracing the values of full participation by men and women alike.  I applaud them for this.”

Janice Dunn Lee, former IAEA DDG-MT


"With over 40 years experience in the nuclear industry, I have seen many organizational and individual development programs but what WNU has done for the nuclear industry is far beyond the expectation and I want to personally thank you."

Amir Shahkarami, ‎Former Senior VP, Exelon Generation, President & CEO CASe Global Partners, Inc. 

Summer Institute programme

 The WNU Summer Institute curriculum is designed to provide cutting-edge presentations and workshops on the full range of topics relevant  to leaders. Presentations generally take place in the mornings, with topics falling into the following categories:

  • Global setting, including energy supply and demand, climate change, nuclear technology in sustainable development, new build and key  political issues and trends;
  • International regimes, nuclear law and 3S,  including the international legal framework, safety, security and safeguards, implementation aspects and oversights;
  • Nuclear industry and applications, including the nuclear fuel cycle, production of nuclear energy, operational excellence, technology innovations, transport, waste management, economics, and a brief summary of the newest applications of ionizing radiation;
  • Leadership, project management, knowledge management, and effective communications.

The aim of the Network for Nuclear Innovations is to enable fellows to participate in detailed discussion of important global nuclear issues and bring new light to it. This module takes place at the end of the Summer Institute and it is a project, where the fellows present an innovative approach to an issue. Each topic is guided by a mentor, but the mentor will observe only and make small interventions if needed. Each group will create a piece of work of high quality that can take numerous forms. For example, this could be an article to be sent to publication, a paper to be presented in an International Conference, a video to be posted, well founded recommendations for nuclear research, or an idea for a start-up company. 

Network for Nuclear Innovation Magazine 2018
Network for Nuclear Innovation Magazine 2017
Network for Nuclear Innovation Magazine 2016

NNI 2016 group project published in Nuclear Engineering International Oct, 2016, Special Report

"The Network for Nuclear innovations was a great opportunity to dig into subject matter that I had not previously gotten exposed to and offered me the opportunity to lead an international team of fellows with a diverse set of backgrounds, which stretched my management skills and  got me to develop in other ways that normal work life would not have offered me." 2018 Fellow

Team-building and Leadership development

In the afternoons, Fellows break into working groups composed of around ten people. A Fellow is likely to be assigned to three of these groups during the WNU SI, allowing him/her to work closely with a large number of people. Each group is overseen by a Mentor, one of a number of experienced academic or industry leaders that participate throughout the WNU SI. 

During working group sessions, Fellows engage in Working Group discussions:
  • Reviewing of the morning's presentations; 
  • Preparing responses to challenging case studies assigned by faculty during the morning lectures;
  • Presenting information about themselves, and nuclear programmes in their countries;
  • Preparation of an in-depth presentation on a topic key to the future of the nuclear industry. Topics covered may include: setting up new NPP, waste repositories, non-proliferation.

As an integral part of the WNU SI leadership development programme, the Summer Institute includes presentations from "Invited Leaders" who have made notable contributions to the nuclear industry. As an adjunct to the established curriculum, Invited Leaders choose their message and are likely to discuss:  
  • Their organization’s current and future work 
  • Major challenges they see unfolding in their area of interest and in the industry as a whole 
  • What particular characteristics future leaders should possess and how those traits can be developed.  

Technical Visits

Fellows experience visits to a variety of nuclear and industrial facilities which may include: 
  • Nuclear power reactors 
  • Mining and milling sites
  • Research reactors
  • R&D facilities
  • Fuel manufacturing plants
  • Enrichment facilities
  • Interim and final waste storage facilities



WNU Fellows participates in a final ceremony, presided over by the World Nuclear Association Director General and WNU President, Agneta Rising, along with the Head of the WNU, Patricia Wieland, and some distinguished guests. Each WNU Fellow receives a certificate, which may be allowed by certain academic institutions as credit towards a degree.

Here you can download a programme from a past year. Whilst the exact schedule changes each year depending on topic relevance and feedback, this sample programme should give you an idea of how the topics are covered during the Summer Institute and who lead them in the past.  

"WNU Summer Institute is a unique experience. The most interesting thing was the face to face with leaders from all over the world and learning from their experience.... This unique experience allows you to discover the real work within a diverse team with people having different styles of leadership. I think this would be a very good exercise for those wishing to work in an international organization." 2017 Fellow

The founding supporters: