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NPI Hosts Kenyan Delegation for IAEA Fellowship Training

July 14, 2015

    The Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station's Nuclear Power Institute (NPI) organized an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) fellowship training program at Texas A&M University for a group of Kenyan professionals involved in planning the steps toward developing a nuclear program in their country. Participants included engineers, scientists, economists, legal officers, managers, and human resources specialists from the Kenya Nuclear Electricity Board (KNEB), the Kenyan Ministry of Energy's Nuclear Electricity Project, and the Kenyan National Commission for Science, Technology, and Innovation. For many of the participants, this was their second fellowship training session with NPI at Texas A&M, the first occurring in 2012 when they attended an introductory program in nuclear power. The program was sponsored by the IAEA and the Kenyan government.

    This year's three week program focused on all aspects of safety, and in particular safety culture, as part of the Kenya national nuclear program.  Subject matter experts from industry, utilities, regulatory agencies, and academia spoke to the group about nuclear safety, reactor safety, and safety culture, as well as the broader subject of industrial safety, which will be critical to the Kenyan nuclear program during the construction of nuclear facilities and infrastructure.

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    As part of the program, participants visited the Exelon gas-fueled power plant in Wharton, Texas to witness how safety culture is implemented in that industry.  They saw first-hand the implementation of industrial and personnel safety at the Palacios Marine and Industrial company.  From there, they traveled to Bay City, Texas, where the Taneris Corporation is building a very large seamless pipe manufacturing facility. By visiting the Taneris offices the group saw how safety is addressed in an ongoing large-scale construction project.

    At the close of the program, participant Moses Muinde, a legal officer with the KNEB, commented, "I have now internalized safety culture.  I had read about safety culture, but now I have a very clear picture of what it is, what we have to do."  The program emphasized case studies and lessons learned from other countries and other industries, looking at both their successes and shortcomings. Victor Mutava, a radiation protection officer with the KNEB, remarked, "What can we learn from different cultures?  We can learn from the experiences of others.  There is an advantage to not doing something first. Hopefully we can now get it right in Kenya with our laws and regulations.  These don't change, and if we get it right, it will outlive us."

    See Highlights Booklet

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