Prague Nuclear Reactor Practicum
The J-Term Nuclear Research Reactor Practicum in Prague has offered me and my cohort the unique opportunity to work hands on with a nuclear research reactor. Most of us NPTS students will end up as analysts and policy makers. Having had the chance to move one step beyond the policy making aspect has been immensely valuable. Being able to see for yourself how a nuclear research reactor operates, or how a spent fuel storage cask is manufactured is truly incomparable with anything that is available to us at MIIS. I had completed my second to last semester at MIIS before participating in this practicum and not until I stood in front of Temelin’s cooling towers did I actually comprehend the sheer size of nuclear power plants.
Despite the practical aspect being the main focus of this practicum, I have found that my understanding of theoretical concepts has improved greatly. I strongly advise any NPTS student focused on the nuclear aspect of our program to consider applying for this practicum or at the very least to take Dr. Moore’s 2 credit Nuclear Power & Nonproliferation course. I am convinced that diving deeper into the concepts of nuclear power can only be beneficial to anyone seeking to work in a nuclear related field. Additionally, it is also necessarily to mention that spending these two weeks abroad provides a wonderful chance to learn and gain from culturally diverse perspectives in the nuclear field.
Finally, despite of the tight schedule that is packed into two short weeks, the program also leaves enough room to culturally enjoy the time in Prague and Vienna. This program has been a perfect addition to what I have felt was lacking in my education at MIIS.