NSSPI hosts 2015 Nuclear Security Training Series for Indian universities

August 6, 2015
| By: Kelley Ragusa

The Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) Nuclear Security Science and Policy Institute (NSSPI) hosted the first part of the 2015 Nuclear Security Training Series (NSTS) for Indian University faculty and students at Texas A&M University June 20-30. The NSTS is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State's Partnership for Nuclear Security (PNS) and is the fourth in its series. The participants included 25 nuclear engineering students and five faculty members from nine universities across India: Amity University (Noida), Delhi University, Delhi Technological University, the Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai, the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur, Jadhavpur University (Kolkata), Mody University (Rajasthan), Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University (Gandhinagar), and the University of Petroleum and Energy Studies (Dehradun). Half of the participants in this year's program were female.

Dr. Costas Georghiades, associate agency director for strategic initiatives and centers for TEES, officially welcomed the group to Texas A&M at the NSTS inaugural event and Priya Sethi, PNS program manager, gave the NSTS opening remarks. Dr. Sunil Chirayath, NSSPI interim director, gave the keynote address on nuclear security and nuclear security culture.

Instructors for the NSTS at Texas A&M included NSSPI faculty members Chirayath, Dr. Craig Marianno and Claudio Gariazzo. Former Texas A&M nuclear engineering students Dr. James Miller, Dr. Matthew Sternat, Chris Ryan and current Ph.D. student Julia Eigenbrodt gave presentations of their student research to the group as a means of generating ideas for future student research projects in the area of nuclear security and stimulating discussion on nuclear security research. The aim of the NSTS was to inculcate the tenets of nuclear security as a research best practice and to interweave discussions of nuclear security culture into the presentation discussions.

While at Texas A&M, the participants attended lectures on nuclear security and nuclear security culture, attended nuclear security related thesis and dissertation presentations from former nuclear engineering students. Participants visited the Nuclear Science Center, took part in an outdoor radiation source recovery exercise at the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service's Disaster City facility, and toured NASA and the George H. W. Bush Library and Museum.

Dr. Yassin Hassan, head of the Department of Nuclear Engineering, gave the concluding remarks and distributed the NSTS participation certificates on the final day of the Texas A&M portion of the NSTS.

After their time at Texas A&M, the group continued their training series at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories. The NSTS participants also attended the 56th annual meeting of Institute of Nuclear Materials Management held in Indian Wells, California.

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