Summer Institute

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.

Programme Overview

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.  
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
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 yet

Please email us
See previous venues

Past Venues


Bucharest & BadenBucharest & Baden, Romania & Switzerland


Busan & GjeongjuBusan & Gjeongju, South Korea


UppsalaUppsala, Sweden


OttawaOttawa, Canada


UppsalaUppsala, Sweden

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

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