What do you do if you are an aspiring Civil Engineering student looking for experience in the nuclear industry?
The Building the Nuclear Island project was featured on the PM show on Radio 4 yesterday (11/07/12) discussing how students get experience of building nuclear power stations and students get to ‘practice going nuclear without the radioactivity’.
The report features comment from Alison Ahearn, a Principal Teaching Fellow from Civil Engineering at Imperial College London and lead on this HE STEM Project, and Dr Mark Wenman Director of the MSc in Nuclear Engineering at Imperial, as well as the students involved in the activity.
Dr Mark Wenman says ‘We haven’t built a nuclear power station since Sizewell B and that was finished in the mid 1990’s. There’s a whole generation of civil engineers who have never experienced a nuclear build in any significant way.’
Alison Ahearn went on to say ‘We’re in an outdoor classroom 2 hectares of land in Norfolk with manmade rivers, lots of dirt, water and students in hard hats and hi-vis everywhere.’
’If you think about medicine you don’t want doctors who only ever learnt it out of a book. You don’t want engineers who only ever learnt it out of a book. And you can only do that if you’ve got some experience and if you know a piece of steel that’s on a diagram, on a drawing, doesn’t magic itself from point A to point B. You’ve got to get the crane in; it’s got to be done right; you mustn’t drop it; you might kill someone. You’ve got to have that reality check and this is a big reality check for them.’
To hear the clip see http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qskw which starts around 22 minutes in.