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Empowering Women in Nuclear: The Republic of Korea Hosts the Third IAEA Lise Meitner Programme

IAEA efforts to support the career development of women professionals in the nuclear sector has taken another step forward, with experts from the IAEA Lise Meitner Programme visiting the Republic of Korea to advance their skills and knowledge. 

Over a two-week period, 12 participants from 11 countries took part in technical visits and discussions across the country, which currently has 26 operating nuclear power reactors. 

The IAEA Lise Meitner Programme (LMP), named after the Austrian-Swedish physicist, aims to boost women’s career development in the nuclear sector through professional visits hosted by IAEA member countries. This third LMP visit, which focused on nuclear power plant operations, took place from 25 March to 5 April 2024 and was hosted by the Korea Nuclear International Cooperation Foundation (KONICOF).  

”The Lise Meitner Programme provided me with a unique and invaluable opportunity to connect with women nuclear professionals from across the globe. Through engaging in technical workshops, presentations, professional development activities, and facility tours, I was able to build meaningful bonds and exchange knowledge and experiences with fellow professionals in the field,” said Yasemin Balci, a researcher at the Turkish Energy, Nuclear and Mineral Research Agency. “This experience not only enhanced my technical skills and understanding but also fostered a supportive network of colleagues and mentors, creating a lasting impact on my professional development.” 

During the technical portion of the programme, participants had the opportunity to visit nuclear facilities, which included a trip to the Saeul Nuclear Power Plant. Currently, there are two reactors under construction at Saeul, which is owned and operated by the largest electric power company in the Republic of Korea, Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Co. (KHNP). KHNP hosted a tour of their facilities for LMP participants to learn more about the monitoring system used for the operational status of Korean nuclear power plants. 

“The commitment and diligence of the IAEA Lise Meitner Programme visiting professionals have left a lasting impact on us. We trust that the knowledge and insights gained during the LMP visit in the Republic of Korea will propel their careers forward and contribute to shaping a more sustainable future,” said Jun Ho SHIN, President of KONICOF. 

The Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) also hosted the LMP professionals at a number of centres including the Nuclear Training Center, which provided hands-on exercises with a KAERI pressurized water reactor (PWR) simulator. During the technical tours, the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) Nuclear Fuel and KEPCO Engineering and Construction facilities invited the women professionals to take a closer look at the APR-1400 design technology (a pressurized water reactor producing up to 1,400 Megawatts of electricity per unit). 

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