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, WINS sat down to speak with Idjiwole Francois Bolariwon Ayodele, who recently became a Certified Nuclear Security Professional, earning his designation in November 2021 after receiving a scholarship to attend the programme. Before joining the WINS Academy, Mr Ayodele completed his PhD in nuclear instrumentation in 2020 at the University of Abomey-Calavi in Benin.
Since then, he has been working in the field of nuclear science in Benin and has been in touch with various industries in the country to convey the significance of nuclear security. During his interview, we spoke with Mr Ayodele about his experience with the WINS Academy as well as who he thinks will benefit from a WINS Academy course in his country of Benin.
Why did you apply for a WINS Academy Programme?
First of all, I would like to thank Prof Medenou Daton for introducing me in nuclear science field. As a young professional entering the field of nuclear science, I applied for the WINS Academy scholarship to further develop my skills. I had found WINS through an internet search so that I could receive more training in nuclear science. To my surprise, my application was approved within a very short period of time – less than one week. At that time, I thought that this was not a serious programme, but I quickly changed my mind after receiving my shipment of textbooks required to complete the Academy programme.
“As an STE, both safety and security begin with me.”
What was your WINS Academy elective, and why did you choose it?
I chose the nuclear certification programme for Scientists, Technicians and Engineers (STE) to get a broad overview of nuclear security and, more specifically, to understand my responsibilities toward nuclear security as a scientist. Once I started the learning journey, my main goal was to successfully complete the programme, because I discovered that the accomplishment of getting certified would open new doors of opportunities for me.
During my studies, I became familiar with nuclear safety but not nuclear security. Even during some international training regarding nuclear instrumentation, we were taught basic lessons about nuclear safety but never nuclear security. I still remember the slogan at one of these trainings: “Safety begins with me.” After completing my nuclear security certification, I would prefer to say: “As an STE, both safety and security begin with me.” Now, I know that I should follow nuclear security culture with the same sincerity that I have for nuclear safety culture.
What was the most rewarding experience of the WINS Academy?
Regarding the content of the STE elective and Foundation Module, the different courses are well organised. First of all, I noticed that no particular background is necessary to understand the WINS Academy training, because all the courses are very detailed – this was important to me as I didn’t have a background in nuclear science. Second, the thing that I appreciate the most is the parallelism highlighted between the safety and security concepts. In addition, the different case studies were helpful.
In 2020, the Republic of Benin established a regulatory authority for nuclear safety and security, and I’m sure that my CNSP certification will be quite useful for our national regulatory authority. I will do my best within my limitations and capacity to assist this authority on subjects related to nuclear security. Since we never finish learning, I wish to learn more about nuclear security and make significant contributions in nuclear security that can reduce the threat concerns over nuclear security in today’s world.
“As a graduate of the WINS Academy, I would strongly encourage every professional in the nuclear community in francophone countries to enrol in the certification programme so that they can learn and understand their responsibility for nuclear security.”
Who do you think would benefit from attending a WINS Academy programme in your region and country?
As a graduate of the WINS Academy, I would strongly encourage every professional in the nuclear community in francophone countries to enrol in the certification programme so that they can learn and understand their responsibility for nuclear security.
In particular, I invite scientists, engineers and technicians from Benin to apply, because Benin is new to the nuclear field, and we have a lot of work to do in the future. We don’t yet have a training facility in nuclear science, however we don’t need to wait for it to begin our training in nuclear security.
Furthermore, I would recommend the training for people who are not even in the nuclear field and who have different backgrounds. The Benin government wants to invest in nuclear science in two-three years, and we will have a lot of people in the field. I’m sure that the scholarships offered by the WINS Academy would be extremely useful. Without the scholarship, I would not have been able to receive the training, and this is true for other young professionals in Benin like myself.