Nuclear Education

Cambodia pursues plans for nuclear education with Russia


Cambodia and Russia started discussing plans for the preparing human resources and subsequent construction of the nuclear power plant in the Kingdom as the country’s energy demand soars due to its economic growth. A joint working group between Cambodia and Russia held its first meeting in Phnom Penh to explore the possibilities of using atomic energy for peaceful purposes. The Russian ambassador to Cambodia, Dmitry Tsvetkov, and representatives of the Russian state atomic corporation Rosatom were also present at the meeting. The key topic was long-term and short-team training of Cambodian specialists in nuclear field.

In June 2016, memorandums of understanding (MoUs) were signed between the Council for the Development of Cambodia and Rosatom for the creation of a nuclear information center, and the creation of a joint working group for the development of nuclear energy in Cambodia. It is planned that nuclear information center will help Cambodians to learn better about nuclear technologies and nuclear energy, the perspectives it provides for national industry and economy as well as raising prestige of technical and scientific careers.

“We are going to focus mostly on human resource development to attract youth to the fields of science, math, physics and engineering, and we’re going to establish an information centre for nuclear technology,” confirmed Sok Kean, a Ministry of Environment representative. According to him, the scholarships for Cambodian students who want to study engineering, physics and other sciences in Russia were discussed. Potential construction of nuclear power plants is considered in the long term. Sok Kean noted the most important is the development of human resources since nuclear build project in Cambodia has yet to be explored in terms of financing.

The minister of environment of Cambodia stated: “Cambodia needs to meet future energy demands and achieve energy security while supporting global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. For these reasons, our government is exploring alternative energy sources, in particular hydro, solar and biomass. We have also started to discuss the possibility of benefiting from nuclear energy in the longer term. We are also interested in nuclear technology for its many applications in healthcare, industry, agriculture, and other sectors of the economy”.

Om Romny, director general of the Institute of Technology of Cambodia said that the nuclear information center will provide an opportunity for Cambodian students and researchers to learn more about the benefits of nuclear power and its uses for “peaceful purposes.” “Cambodia needs more technical experts in the atomic sector and this joint cooperation with Russia will be a good opportunity for more training to be done,” said Mr. Romny.

The peaceful use of atomic energy projects in the countries without previous experience in the field of nuclear technology, are considered as a catalyst for innovations and high technology industries development. “Rosatom” offers its partners a comprehensive approach to create in some countries fully fledged nuclear industries, including both construction projects and maintenance of research reactors and nuclear power units, joint research projects, training of personnel for the nuclear power industry, assistance in the field of nuclear and radiation safety, and assistance in establishing the necessary legal framework. A first step in the implementation of these countries' programs on use of peaceful atom is in many cases the construction of research nuclear reactors of low power, which can carry out projects for medicine, energy, industry.

Asia is the main region in the world where electricity generating capacity and specifically nuclear power is growing significantly. In East through to South Asia there are 128 operable nuclear power reactors, 40 under construction and firm plans to build a further 90. Many more are proposed. The greatest growth in nuclear generation is expected in China, South Korea and India. Overall, over 45 countries are actively considering embarking upon nuclear power programs. These range from sophisticated economies to developing nations. The front runners are UAE, Turkey, Vietnam, Belarus, and Poland. Rosatom is developing projects in all but UAE and Poland.

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