A career development programme preparing nuclear professionals for future challenges. An intensive 270 hour leadership and communication development programme.
This programme is aimed at:
Important Notice Concerning Summer Institute 2020 Postponement
In light of increasing travel restrictions and uncertainties stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, WNU has made the very difficult decision to postpone the Summer Institute until June and July 2021. This is the first year without a Summer Institute since its inception in 2005, and these are exceptional circumstances.
The Summer Institute in 2021 will be held in Japan and will have the same format as planned for this year. We will keep in contact with applicants regarding any updates and the confirmation of dates for next year.
We are extremely grateful to our counterparts in Japan, the Japan Nuclear Human Resource Development Network, for their continued hard work and enthusiasm for the Summer Institute, and we look forward to continued collaboration on this programme.
The WNU Summer Institute is an intensive 270 hours leadership development programme held annually in different locations. It offers dynamic lectures, invited leaders presentations, field trips to nuclear and industrial facilities, and team projects led by some of the world’s foremost authorities. These cover the global energy setting and sustainable development, technology innovations, international safety regime, economics and project structuring. The programme also includes cultural and social events.
Each WNU Summer Institute involves some 70 participants, called Fellows, selected as promising nuclear professionals who have demonstrated strong leadership potential. WNU Fellows become part of an expanding global network of future leaders in the nuclear profession. Since the Summer Institute’s inception in 2005, a total of some 1214 Fellows from 85 countries have successfully completed the WNU Summer Institute.
Please note that the application deadline for candidates seeking IAEA funding has now passed. Applications remain open for candidates with private or company funding.
The WNU Summer Institute aims to
- Provide a global picture on the full spectrum of issues surrounding nuclear energy and to develop skills in leadership, communication, planning, and organisation.
- Offer quality education and nuclear training from the world's foremost experts and leaders in nuclear science, engineering, and business. This is enhanced by practical workshops, interactive platforms and visits to nuclear facilities.
The WNU Summer Institute 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.
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.
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
Network for Nuclear Innovation (NNI)
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. 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.
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 distinguished guests. Each WNU Fellow receives a certificate, which may be allowed by certain academic institutions as credit towards a degree.
Download the 2019 programme. 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.
The WNU Summer Institute programme is designed to expand participants’ horizons across the full spectrum of issues surrounding nuclear energy. Built on a foundation of instruction from some of the world's foremost leaders in science, engineering and the global environment, the programme is augmented by team-building exercises and numerous technical visits of nuclear and related facilities.
Applicants must provide evidence of meeting the following requirements:
- Currently employed in the nuclear sector, with at least 3 years of relevant work experience;
- Advanced University degree (Master degree or equivalent 4 years of work experience) in nuclear energy sciences related field;
- Demonstrated academic or professional excellence and leadership potential with two recommendation letters;
- Proficiency in English, particularly oral communication, which is essential for effective participation in the WNU-SI programme. Non-native English speaker will be asked to submit an English language certificate to demonstrate their language skills.
Selection places considerable weight on an applicant's demonstrated leadership potential. The aim of the selection process is to have a class of WNU Fellows composed of an internationally diverse mix of top professionals already in industry or government service. Applications from qualified women are encouraged. Gender balance and diversity are important for the World Nuclear University as these contribute to a broader collective perspective, consistently adding value to the programme and individual learning. There is no age limit and the typical average age of WNU Summer Institute Fellows is 35.
for 2021: TBC
June - July 2021
Kobe, Fukui & FukushimaJapan
Applications not open yetPlease email us
Bucharest & BadenBucharest & Baden, Romania & Switzerland
Busan & GjeongjuBusan & Gjeongju, South Korea
2009 - 2014
Christ Church CollegeOxford, UK
The University of OttawaOttawa, Canada
DaejeonDaejeon, South Korea
Centre for Nuclear Technology (SCNT)Stockholm, Sweden
Idaho National LaboratoryIdaho Falls, USA
Dorra Lajnef, Head of Service in Tunisian Company of Electricity and Gas, worked on a feasibility study for the first NPP in Tunisia. She explains how WNU participation furthered her skills and careerRead Dorra's story
Aysha's leadership skills developed quickly and she got promoted after the Summer Institute 2018. This is her experience of the Summer Institute, and how it relates to her professional developmentRead Dorra's story
Eric Lemoine is the Director of the Systems Engineering Division at the Canadian Nuclear Regulator who built upon his experience at the WNU Summer Institute 2007 throughout his careerRead Dorra's story
Ayan Alimzhan is the Chief of Section Development Strategy Management at "NAC "Kazatomprom" JSC, in Kazakhstan. He attended the Summer Institute in 2015.Read Dorra's story
Deni's remarkable journey spans from Indonesia to Canada to the Summer Institute in the UK. Read how WNU impacted his career in waste management, developing his perspective and interests.Deni's remarkable journey
Florencia is a PhD student in Nuclear Science and Technology at Harbin Engineering University in China who built upon her experience at WNU Summer Institute 2019 throughout her career and networkFlorencia's academic developme
What is more important than creating future leaders in the nuclear industry? Nothing - and the Summer Institute is the programme that takes a group of young, intelligent and highly interested people, who are ready to learn and to take the lead.
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
There are three main things, I can bring back to work after the Summer Institute: a broader appreciation for the nuclear industry as a whole, a renewed sense of confidence, and most important an international network of high-level professionals with divers backgrounds and expertise.
The Summer Institute gave me the opportunity to become part of the international community of leading international experts.
Above all, the key contribution that WNU SI had on me is the respect one earns by being there for other fellows, hence being there for the industry in general. Some of my beliefs in leadership got reinforced during group discussions and listening to the experiences of industry leaders, hence WNU SI becomes a driver for quality. Networking with fellow industry professionals is a lifetime of opportunities, friendship and fun, hence WNU SI forms a pathway for the future.
It is an experience of a lifetime. The opportunity to learn and meet giants in the industry is amazing. I cemented friendships with people from all of the globe. It is a special experience that I would recommend to anyone in the industry. I feel honoured to have been part of the 2016 WNU.
For sure the participation in SI for me played significant role in my career." […] Afterwards, "I prepared presentations for the country's leadership, in particular, for the President and the Prime Minister. Two years after my participation, we were able to organize short courses during the opening of Expo-2017 in Astana.
The SI is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build an international peer network of nuclear professionals from all over the world and from all areas of the nuclear industry.
This was a one of a kind experience (…) I grew so much by listening to the lecturers, visiting other sites and by the day to day interactions with people from all over the world.
The WNU Summer Institute has changed my outlook for the future, both for my career and personally. Meeting such a diverse mix of people with different academic, professional and cultural backgrounds has taught me a great deal, as well as opening up a world-wide network to support me in my future career.
It is the most positive, dynamic, learning experience that you will experience in your life.
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.
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.
I had the privilege to be part of the Summer Institute since its inception in 2005. In my feeling this is by far the best leadership course in the world for young people, who are going to be our leaders in the next ten to thirty years. This is the cream of the crop and in their early age they have the chance to learn from the top of nuclear leaders from all around the world. And the most important thing is that they bond. There are now 1000 of these fellows!
Alan Waltar, Retired Senior Advisor, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
My impression is that the SI just keeps getting better each year! I think it has worked out even better than originally anticipated. We continue to draw the best and brightest Fellows at about the same rate each year. The SI is a UNIQUE offering that I’m sure will be looked upon by the Fellows as a very significant juncture in their professional development. The friends that they make in the SI will be lasting and meaningful, allowing networking around the globe for their entire lifetime.
Alan Waltar, Retired Senior Advisor, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
I am wholly in favour of the World Nuclear University. We are at the point where there is no sensible alternative to nuclear power if we are to sustain civilization. Obviously to replace the present use of fossil fuel with nuclear energy is a vast undertaking, and we will need a great number of engineers and scientists with the ability to lead. It is heartening to see the WNU inspiring and equipping young professionals around the world to fulfil that leadership role.
James Lovelock - author of the Gaia Theory and environmental consciousness world leader
- Network for Nuclear Innovation Magazine 2019: individual chapters in Downloads Section
- 2019 Highlights
- Survey of Women in STEM, conducted during WNU Summer Institute 2019
WNU Summer Institute 2018
WNU Summer Institute 2017
WNU Summer Institute 2016
- Recommendations on the use of clean hydrogen to achieve deep decarbonisation
- Pulscheck: A tool for prompt diagnosis of organizational health and culture
- Building partnerships of trust
- A risk mitigation & communication tool to support Harmony Programme
- Powering the world by 2040 – An untapped market for a customer-driven energy solution using small modular reactors
- Study of “4 Harmonization Programme” for achieving international cooperation in Generation IV reactors
- Change. Connect. Convince
- Human Resource Development for future Nuclear Power Plants