Excellent learning and peer-to-peer networking opportunities with a cross-section of the nuclear industry.
The world’s first certified professional development programme for individuals in nuclear security management.
An extensive archive of information on nuclear security, both from WINS and from external sources.
Helping licensees assess the maturity of their security programme and measure their security culture effectiveness.
Earlier this year, Urbain Rukera, Quality Assurance Quality Control Inspector at the Rwanda Utilities Radiation Authority, became a WINS Ambassador. In his job position, Mr Rukera is responsible for assessing and evaluating applications that have been submitted by operators to ensure they have put radiation protection or nuclear security measures in place for the purposes of providing them with a licence. Mr Rukera has been in his position since 2018, which is when Rwanda’s radiation authority first began operations.
Following his appointment as WINS Ambassador, we sat down with Mr Rukera to discuss his WINS experiences and how he plans to help others in his region join the WINS community.
What was your WINS Academy elective, and why did you choose it?
My background is in physics for my Bachelor’s, and then I did radiation protection. I was missing a serious course in nuclear security. I took cybersecurity, and I chose it because I had also studied a subject related to computers.
“It also gives you confidence when you speak in front of colleagues because you know you learned from the best in terms of WINS infrastructure, and your colleagues are more likely to listen to you because you completed a WINS course.”
What advice do you have for potential and current WINS Academy Members?
For someone who is willing to enrol in the academic programme, I think my advice would be to go beyond simply understanding the meaning and origin of nuclear security. From my experience of taking the course, it starts with the history of how they tried to take advantage of nuclear energy – try to understand the history and the fundamental principles of nuclear security.
For someone who has not yet registered for an Academy programme, I would highlight the benefits of the course. For example, it helped me better understand what nuclear security is in my case. I had taken some courses from the IAEA as a regulator, however when I took the WINS course, I understood the origins of nuclear security better. That is one of the most important things I saw while going through the programme.
I would also advise current learners to read the course materials carefully and try to understand and apply the principles within their own organisation. I read the course five times. The first time you read it, you don’t grasp everything, so you have to go back to reread it in order to really understand the material.
How can getting certified help learners achieve their professional goals?
As stated before, when you hear the information, you don’t process it right away, it takes a while to understand and apply it. In order to get promoted in an organisation, you have to show that you have some knowledge, and you have to show which courses or academic courses you went to so that you can be promoted.
It also gives you confidence when you speak in front of colleagues because you know you learned from the best in terms of WINS infrastructure, and your colleagues are more likely to listen to you because you completed a WINS course.
What are some practical implications in your job of completing the WINS Academy programme?
For instance, I am in charge of a database where we store information about sources and the owner of the sources. Before taking this course, I didn’t know that if I didn’t take precautions, then I might reveal where the sources are or the owner or operator of the source. So now that I have taken the course, I know that I have to be careful when dealing with the database. Now, I am also cautious with the email server and how my colleagues and bosses communicate with each other. The people I work with were also unaware about the potential of what could happen with cyberthreats.
“I said to myself if I could inspire other people to join this course, then we would be very competent in dealing with protecting nuclear security and radiological sources.”
What inspired you to become an Ambassador?
When I did the WINS Academy course in Ghana in 2019, I felt bad that there was no one in Rwanda who could tell me about this course, as I had to get my information about it from someone in Ghana. And then I said to myself if I could inspire other people to join this course, then we would be very competent in dealing with protecting nuclear security and radiological sources.
In terms of informing people about WINS programmes, I’m planning to first start with my colleagues as we are a department of five people in my organisation. Then I plan to share my knowledge and talk about the WINS Academy at upcoming regional trainings.