IAEA launches CONNECT website to promote safe and secure nuclear use

On 28 October CONNECT was launched, a members-only online platform for connecting professionals in the nuclear field so that they can share knowledge and experiences and collaborate on projects. The launch was done at an interregional workshop that was part of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)’s International Conference on Challenges Faced by Technical and Scientific Support Organisations (TSOs) in Enhancing Nuclear Safety and Security, held in Beijing from 27 to 31 October.

CONNECT is an exclusive platform, available only to member nations, which span Latin America, Africa, Europe, Asia and Asia Pacific. It was initially conceived as having five networks, but the workshop sparked such strong interest that 11 networks have been established, with three more in the pipelines. The workshop focused on familiarising participants with the platform’s offerings and showing them how to navigate it. Participants were also shown how to use the system to promote their own countries.

Speaking of the new platform IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Technical Cooperation Kwaku Aning said, “This is a platform created by you and for you. CONNECT can only grow and add value if Member States embrace it and contribute to it by sharing information and knowledge.”

Peaceful use of nuclear science and technology

CONNECT was born out of cooperation between the IAEA, the European Commission (EC) and member states, all pursuing the joint goal of peaceful and secure nuclear scientific and technological research, development and application. Director of the IAEA Division of Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Waste Technology Juan Carlos Lentijo said the platform is a key offering from his agency; “This platform not only delivers quality materials at no cost to Member States, but also offers the nuclear community a tool to improve communication and how knowledge is served and managed.”

“CONNECT proves that cooperation between the European Commission and the IAEA delivers concrete results that are available to everyone, everywhere,” said Jorge Tanarro-Colodron of the EC Joint Research Centre in Petten, a town in the north of the Netherlands. “Launching CONNECT is a first step in a very interesting and cooperative journey.”

An easy-to-use platform

Each of CONNECT’s different networks focuses on a particular area of nuclear science and technology, such as education or safety. Individuals and organisations can apply to join the platform, free of charge. Once on a network, the user builds a profile and can then access a variety of resources, from e-learning materials to discussion forums, papers, training courses, libraries and expert contacts. They are also able to offer feedback and upload their own contributions.

IAEA Scientific Secretaries and other moderators help to maintain the professionalism of the platform, ensuring it remains a top forum in the industry.

David Okwara

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