Nuclear Security Education in Nigeria: University of Port Harcourt Approach
International Journal of Nuclear Security
This paper is focused on how the Centre for Nuclear Energy Studies, University of Port Harcourt, has been able to pursue its set mandates. These mandates include educating and training Nigerians about nuclear energy as well as conducting research on how to deploy its peaceful applications. To actualize these mandates, it needed to develop competencies and capacities in its focus areas: modeling and simulation of a nuclear power plant, thermal hydraulics, and nuclear security. It adopted the
... od of graded approach in developing its capabilities in nuclear security. This was done through systematic and gradual processes, by exposing its academic personnel to professional and curriculum development courses in nuclear security on train-the-trainer basis. The outcomes to date are that the Centre for Nuclear Energy Studies has been able to upgrade the strength of nuclear security in the existing master's programme in nuclear engineering, commenced the postgraduate certificate programme in nuclear security science, trained over 50 persons both locally and internationally in nuclear security through organized annual workshop and has been able to establish strong collaborations with other institutions within and outside Nigeria. CNES has co-organized with INMM (Nigeria Chapter) two annual national training programmes in nuclear security for engineers, doctors, scientists and technicians. The first was in Port Harcourt in 2015 (see Plate 3). The second workshop was at Sheda-Abuja in 2016 (see Plate 4). The workshops brought together participants from the Universities, Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission, Nigeria Nuclear Regulatory Authority, Offices of the National Security Adviser, Teaching Hospitals, Defense, Security and Intelligence Agencies. The workshops covered the following topics: basic nuclear physics, national and international legal frameworks for nuclear security, interrelationship between safety, security and safeguards, insider threats to nuclear facilities, nuclear energy applications, radiation detection and protection systems, physical protection systems, information and cyber security, nuclear security cultures and human reliability programme (HRP), and basic information about WINS. The participant's responses showed they were satisfied with the workshop in terms of its content and delivery. It is noteworthy that all the resource persons for these workshops were sourced locally in Nigeria. Plate 3: Group photograph of resource persons and participants of the 2015 annual national nuclear security workshop at Port Harcourt. CNES has developed a curriculum for postgraduate certificate programme in nuclear security science. The curriculum comprises 10 taught courses and a research project on contemporary nuclear security topic. The details of the courses and the electives with the corresponding credit units are shown in Tables 1 and 2 respectively. The programme which is for 16 weeks has been approved by the senate of the University of Port Harcourt and commenced on July 10, 2017. The first batch of students admitted into the programme was drawn mainly from the NNRA and the security agencies. The minimum academic requirement for admission into the programme was a bachelor's degree (or Higher National Diploma) in Engineering, Sciences and Medical Sciences.