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NVQ certificates in Nuclear Decommissioning for RWE NUKEM Employees

22nd April 2005

Pictured above is the presentation of NVQ level 2 Certificates in Nuclear Decommissioning to RWE NUKEM operatives at Dounreay. The presentation was carried out by Ian Laidlaw, NDA Site Programme Manager - Region 4.

Ian Laidlaw said "It was a privilege to recognise the time and effort that RWE NUKEM operatives had put in to gaining their new qualifications. In the rapidly changing world of Nuclear Decommissioning, it is good to see Decommissioning Operatives keen to achieve new qualifications and show themselves to be "suitably qualified and experienced". It is also recognition that decommissioning is a challenge that requires a high level of skill and dedication. I hope that I will be coming back to present the next level of certificates to them in a year or so."

RWE NUKEM, Head of Site, Steve Burness commented "We aim to be the best at what we do and it is a credit to our Decommissioning Team, and these operators in particular, that we are seen as leaders in this area of Nuclear Skills training. These operators are to be congratulated. Without operators like these who get the job done at the sharp end; we'd all be wasting our time talking about meeting the challenges of Decommissioning. To complement their efforts the Decommissioning Department management team have a strong commitment to skills training in nuclear decommissioning, and actively participate in initiatives nationally with COGENT and internationally with the IAEA to develop training programmes. This kind of recognition brings credit to all the team."

Steve Cashmore, the NVQ Centre Co-ordinator added "Trained and experienced operatives are required to ensure that redundant nuclear plants are decommissioned safely, efficiently and with minimal risk to the workforce, the general public or the environment. Training and experience however, are not enough to guarantee that a person is a safe worker. Formally demonstrated competence is necessary to give confidence to the employer, the customer and the regulator that the lessons learned from training and practice are being safely applied. An incompetent workforce is an unsafe workforce, and errors resulting from incompetence are potentially damaging both in human and financial terms. Anyone connected with the nuclear industry will be aware of the cost of incident enquiries, not to mention the resulting adverse publicity that has blighted the industry for so many years.

As a major contractor in the decommissioning of UKAEA's Dounreay site, RWE NUKEM is aware of its responsibilities for ensuring the competence of its decommissioning operatives. In order to demonstrate this, RWE NUKEM has set up and staffed a City & Guilds approved assessment centre for the Nuclear Decommissioning NVQ. The centre staff assess and verify the competence of RWE NUKEM operatives engaged in decommissioning work at Dounreay, in accordance with National Standards. Although the competence assessment process can be time consuming and costly, RWE NUKEM looks upon it as an investment which will further enhance the Company's credibility in the nuclear decommissioning industry and provide an secure future for its trained workforce."


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