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Russian universities hold lectures in Rwanda to promote nuclear engineering

Two online lectures were held in Rwanda, On May 7 2021, regarding non-energy applications of nuclear technology and the role and place of Russia in the training of professionalism the field of nuclear engineering. The event was part of a lecture series to promote Russian nuclear education programmes and was attended by a total of 70 students and young professionals.

The conference was held by representatives of the National Research Nuclear University MEPhI (hereinafter referred to as NRNU MEPhI) from the Russian side and representatives of the University of Rwanda, College of Sciences and Technology, Lycee de Kigali and King David Academy Kigali in Rwanda.

The forum was moderated by DrMasambaKah, People’s Friendship University Project Manager. The lectures started with opening words from Butera Yves, Master student in Nuclear Power Engineering and Thermal Physics at Peter the Great Saint Petersburg Polytechnic University. Butera mentioned several facts about student life in Russia, gave an insight into extracurricular activities and a brief overview of courses, provided by the university for African students.

The speech was followed by a presentation of VasiliyKornoukhov from MEPhI. The speaker noted that sustainable development of modern economy requires technological progress in various fields of human activity.

In addition to power generation, nuclear technologies are widely used in agriculture, medicine, ecology, etc. Dr. Kornoukhov offered a detailed analysis on how nuclear energy can be implemented in these spheres of our lives and be used for research.

He noted that in order to appreciate the science and technology underlying modern nuclear technologies and prospects for their use in the future it is important for specialists to have certain skills, and these must be developed by young scientists in their student years.

Dr. Kornoukhov concluded his speech with a brief overview of Rosatom’s plans for developing nuclear energy in Africa and introduced the future Center for Science and Nuclear Technology.

Another speaker of the event, Professor Dmitry Samokhin, Head of Nuclear Physics and Engineering Department at the Institute Nuclear Physics and Engineering of National Research Nuclear University MEPHI talked about different methods of training offered in Russia in field of nuclear engineering.

The students got acquainted with different types of engineering, operation principles of thermal power plant, nuclear power plants, chain reactions, learnt about the birth of nuclear engineering and nuclear fission and took a trip to a reactor core, a reactor vessel and steam generators.

Professor talked about last inventions of Rosatom and top nuclear reactors. According to the latest data provided by IEAE in 2020, 58 units of Rosatom are now under operation and 27 more under construction.

During the Q&A sessions, Professor Samokhinmentioned different possibilities for African students to get free education in Russia, including summer schools, organized by the universities.

Nuclear technology education is a strong factor in improving the quality of technical education in emerging economies, so the lecture also looked at the educational programmes available in the consortium of Rosatom’s flagship universities.

At the end of the event Ruhinda Alexis, first year Master Student of Nuclear Engineering at NRNU-MEPhI shared his experience about his life in Russia and his future plans after studying: “I have never encountered any insurmountable difficulties apart from communication barriers in the first days. However, these difficulties vanished with time as I started to get the language foundation. It is a welcoming community of both foreign and Russian students in my hostels has helped me to adapt”.

Dr. MasambaKah also pointed out the welcoming atmosphere of Russian universities. “All our students are treated the same. You are welcome into the family”, said the moderator.

Jean Claude Kubwimana

Jean Claude Kubwimana

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