Prague Nuclear Reactor Program
The Prague Nuclear Research Reactor Practicum was fundamental to my educational experience at MIIS. Given that my interest in nonproliferation issues has always been primarily supported by a theory and policy-oriented education, the opportunity to participate in this program increased my appreciation for the science underpinning nuclear technology. During the duration of the program, I attended lectures on nuclear safety, security and safeguards, nuclear reactor construction and operation, front and back end of the nuclear fuel cycle, radiation protection and waste management, among many other issues. In addition to these lectures, I had the opportunity to participate in various site visits, including those to the Temelin Nuclear Power Plant, Skoda JS, the National Radiation Protection Institute and the IAEA. Most importantly, the participants of the program were given access to the VR-1 research reactor, which provided an invaluable opportunity to learn about nuclear technology and safety by conducting experiments involving neutron detectors, neutron activation analysis and operation of the reactor. In addition to helping me gain a deeper and more comprehensive technical understanding of nuclear issues and technologies, this practicum also provided me with valuable insights into the cultural, political and social landscape of the Czech Republic and how the country is responding to its own nuclear energy and security challenges. The Prague Nuclear Research Reactor Practicum offered the much-needed experiential learning opportunity to supplement the training provided at MIIS, and I would highly recommend this program for any NPTS students in the future.