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Vienna lecture leads to consultations, equipment for SPSU, international meeting sponsorship

Vienna lecture leads to consultations, equipment for SPSU, international meeting sponsorship


JUNE 25, 2014 – Dr. Mahmoud Ghavi, professor of nuclear engineering and director of the Center for Nuclear Studies at SPSU, was an invited speaker at a recent meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) held at IAEA headquarters in Vienna, Austria. His presentation led to the development of several new international relationships and the contribution of several hundred thousand dollars worth of educational products to SPSU’s nuclear program.

And now, IAEA has offered SPSU funding to sponsor a joint international technical meeting at the university next year. The meeting will focus on training the trainers to use nuclear simulators as educational tools.

Dr. Ghavi’s topic in Vienna was the use of nuclear plant simulators for the education of engineering personnel. Representatives from universities, national atomic energy agencies and simulator manufacturers worldwide attended the meeting.

“The audience was particularly impressed with the speed of the nuclear program implementation at SPSU and the innovative methods by which we use our existing reactor simulator,” Dr. Ghavi noted.

As a result, he has been invited to work with IAEA on future international meetings and workshops on development and use of nuclear plant simulators for the purpose of educating the scientific and engineering workforce. Dr. Ghavi has also been asked by representatives of several countries to provide input and guidance for their nuclear educational programs and by a Japanese company for assistance with its advanced reactor simulation developmental project.

In connection with the trip to Vienna, Dr. Ghavi applied on behalf of SPSU to receive all eight simulators that IAEA currently has available – four pressurized water reactor simulators, including an advanced Russian WWER-1000; two boiling-water reactors; and two pressurized heavy-water reactors.

Following preliminary discussions in Vienna, Dr. Ghavi is also pursuing the General Electric (GE) corporation’s potential donation of an advanced boiling-water reactor simulator to SPSU’s nuclear program.

Currently, SPSU has one AP-1000 reactor simulator (similar to the reactor under construction at Plant Vogtle near Augusta, Ga.). Once these additional systems – collectively worth hundreds of thousands of dollars – have been received and installed, SPSU will have one of the largest collections of nuclear plant simulators in the country.

“These simulators will provide great teaching and research opportunities for the university’s nuclear engineering program at the undergraduate and graduate levels,” Dr. Ghavi said. He added that SPSU’s professional-level nuclear workshops offered through the Continuing Education Center would likewise benefit from these products.