Willa Nathan, NPTS ’19


This was the group at the Vienna International Centre before our day visiting at the IAEA and the CTBTO.

The Czech Republic Nuclear Research Reactor J-Term course was one of my favourite experiences at MIIS. As a second year NPTS students, I had several friends do the course last year and heard amazing things about it. One of the things that I really appreciated about this course is that you weren’t thrown in blind. The other participants and I all had to participate in Dr. Moore’s weekend workshop on Nuclear Power so we could get the most
out of the classes in Prague. The only thing I wish, looking back, was that we had had the full semester class like the cohort before us.

Our first activity in Prague was a group dinner at our hotel. The dinner was a really great opportunity for us all to get to know each other and get to know some of the CTU instructors. The first few days were spent in lectures about the basic science we needed to know for when we started to do experiments with the research reactor. The lectures were really great and were a great chance to get a more technical understanding of some of the
policy issues we deal with at MIIS. The second week was really focused on hands-on activities that included (at the end of the course) actually being able to operate the research reactor! Interspersed between the lectures and working at the nuclear research reactor were several invaluable ‘field trips’.

Out of all of the field trips, my favourite was the trip to the Temelin Nuclear Power Station. The trip was a really great opportunity to see what we learned about in the classroom in person. When our time in Prague was finally finished, we had a final group meal in downtown Prague with some of our instructors to say goodbye. The next day—after a final
feedback session—we all got on the train to go to Vienna, Austria. In Vienna, we spent the whole day at the Vienna International Centre. We had meetings and information sessions with both the IAEA and the CTBTO. We capped off our time in Vienna with an informal MIIS reunion at the VIC. It was really great to see the MIIS mafia and learn about their post-grad
experiences. I learned so much through this course and I know that it’s going to be incredibly useful in my future career.

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