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Summer Institute

An immersive, five-week nuclear leadership and professional development programme for future leaders in the nuclear industry

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil | 2 June - 6 July 2024

Subscribe to WNU mailing list to be informed about upcoming courses. 

No longer accepting applications

2 June

Start Date

5 weeks





World Nuclear Association Members        ---------   £17,800

Non-World Nuclear Association Members ---------   £18,800

IAEA Technical Cooperation Funding        ---------   learn more

*Includes food and accommodation costs

Application Deadlines

IAEA-Funded Applications    ---------    15 December 2023   

Company-Funded Applications  ---------    31 January 2024   

About the Programme

What does effective nuclear leadership look like and how can you prepare to lead your nuclear organization into the future. 

Built on a foundation of instruction from the world’s leading nuclear experts, World Nuclear University’s annual immersive, five-week leadership development programme brings together nuclear professionals from around the world to share knowledge and broaden horizons. Through a mix of taught lectures, mentored group work, industry-focused projects, and technical site visits, Summer Institute Fellows will improve their leadership capabilities and team effectiveness. 

What our alumni say

'' The WNU Summer Institute is a once in a life time experience that allows fellows to learn about all areas of the nuclear industry, develop a variety of leadership and communications skills, and make invaluable industry contacts and lifelong friends from all over the world.''

SI Fellow | 2022


Summer Institute Fellows will:

1. Gain a deeper awareness of personal leadership style

2. Learn how to leverage leadership to exceed organizational goals and objectives

3. Discover frameworks for building resilience into organizational culture and drive workplace innovation

4. Develop a holistic perspective of the nuclear industry

5. Build meaningful, lasting relationships

6. Access a global network of Summer Institute Alumni

2023 Programme topics

The Summer Institute programme covers a wide range of nuclear industry topics*

Leadership, Nuclear and The World Around Us

Week One:    

  • Leadership fundamentals 

  • Privilege, Purpose and Leadership

  • Energy markets and integrated energy systems

  • Nuclear Power in Society

  • Project Structuring and Risk Management

  • Sustainable Finances for Nuclear

  • Radiation protection and environmental protection

  • Lessons from past radiological accidents

  • Giving and Receiving Effective Feedback

Week Two:

Fundamentals, New Build, Commissioning and Operating Safely

  • Technology fundamentals

  • Strategic thinking

  • Nuclear reactors: from Gen I to Gen IV

  • Regulatory frameworks and Standardization 

  • Financing Nuclear

  • New Build Projects

  • Transport

  • Supply Chain considerations 

  • Building a sustainable workforce

  • Nuclear Safety

Technical tours

Week Three:

  • Fukushima Daiichi NPP

  • Fukushima Daini NPP

  • Ohi Nuclear Power Plant 

  • Mihama Nuclear Emergency Preparedness Center

  • MHI Training Center

  • NARREC (Remote Control Technology Development)

  • Reprun Fukushima and the specified waste landfill site

  • TEPCO Decommissioning Archive Center

Week Four: 

The Nuclear Fuel Cycle, Innovation and Operating for the Long Term

  • The Nuclear Fuel Cycle

  • Security fundamentals and the human aspect

  • Safeguards and Non-proliferation

  • Communicating as a leader

  • Developing innovative thinking

  • Operating for the Long-Term

Week Five:

Decommissioning, Waste Management, Your Leadership Journey Beyond the SI and the Innovative Leadership Project

  • Decommissioning 

  • Inclusive leadership and benefit of diversity

  • Communications and stakeholder engagement

  • International Cooperation 

  • Fusion

  • Workforce challenges and solutions 

  • Waste management 

  • Innovative Leadership Project

*Programme topics subject to change

Previous Invited Leaders 

Over the years, numerous prominent nuclear industry thought-leaders have attended the Summer Institute as mentors, speakers, and invited leaders, to share their in-depth leadership experiences with Fellows. Below are a few of the many industry experts who have joined WNU's Summer Institute:

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Naoki Chigusa WANO CEO.PNG

Sama Bilbao y León

Director General, World Nuclear Association

Rafael Mariano Grossi

Director General, IAEA

William Magwood

Naoki Chigusa

Director General, OECD-NEA


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Rumina Velshi

President and CEO, CNSC

Naohiro Masuda

Fukushima Daiini Superintendent (2011) now President, JNFL

Rita Baranwal

Mingang Huang

CTO, Westinghouse

Chief Economic Officer,


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Shaun Jenkinson


Margeret Doane

Deputy Director General, IAEA

Amir Shahkarami

Tim Gitzel

Former CEO, Exelon

CEO, Cameco Corp.

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Bohdan Zronek


Ingemar Engkvist

Helmut Engelbrecht

Shiro Arai

Former CEO, WANO

Former CEO, Urenco Ltd

President, JAIF

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george B.jfif

Tamer Albishawi

CNO, Hinkley Point C

Hector Dominguis

Liudmila Zalimskaya

George Borovas


Chairman of the Board of Directors, TENEX

Head of Nuclear and Managing Partner, Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP

Thinking behind the programme

As the nuclear industry grows and evolves, so do the challenges of demonstrating good leadership in a constantly changing industry. 

WNU introduced the Summer Institute in 2005 to provide future leaders with a solid foundation of core nuclear principles alongside a broad curriculum of leadership, communications, and organizational development skills. 

Group work and mentoring

Throughout the course, fellows are presented with real-life scenarios and tasked with working in small groups to solve some of the most critical issues facing the nuclear industry. Groups are curated to be culturally and professionally diverse and comprised of fellows from different backgrounds, genders, and nationalities. Each small working group is facilitated by a mentor, who provides guidance and personal coaching to help fellows further their leadership skills and improve their organizational flexibility and resilience capabilities. 

Unique locations and technical tours

Each year, the Summer Institute is hosted by a different nation from a unique region. In addition to a rigorous academic curriculum, fellows are immersed into the local culture through excursions, sightseeing, and social and cultural gatherings. The goal of these experiences is to create a strong bond between participants, while highlighting the unique offerings of the host nation. 


Facilitated and independent social events allow participants to develop networking skills and cultural sensitivities that will help them lead the industry into the future. WNU programmes also offer a rare opportunity to tour the host country's nuclear facilities, allowing fellows to visit exclusive sites and interact with those who work in these facilities. 

See previous SI locations

Curated curriculum 

The Summer Institute's unique curriculum is curated in collaboration with international organizations, including WNU's founding supporters, WNA, IAEA, WANO, and the OECD/NEA, and a global network of nuclear industry partners. Through these partnerships, WNU has access to a wide range of experts from nuclear nations to provide unique and balanced perspectives with the participants. 


For a more information about the Summer Institute, visit:

To get in contact with the WNU team directly, email:

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