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The University of Johannesburg (UJ), the University of South Africa (UNISA), iThemba LABS and the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (NECSA) have together launched a new two year programme in Nuclear Energy - the MíSONE course (Masterís in the Science and Organisation of Nuclear Energy). The programme will run over two years. The first year will be devoted to course-work, and the second to a research project, with an exit at the Masters level.

The programme coursework section will give students from a wide range of backgrounds a general overview of nuclear energy. Topics include the physics and mathematics behind nuclear reactions, statistical risk analysis, environmental impact and safety. The material has been developed in close collaboration with NECSA and the PBMR. Bridging courses for the first year are also available if required for particular students. This enables the net to be cast wide in search of good students. The specialisation will occur in elective courses and the research programme in the research component in the second year. In the following years, a Part Time option will be developed.

Applicants must have at least a three year science or engineering degree with at least one year of physics and two years of mathematics. Candidates may also apply for recognition of prior learning. Graduates can expect to find employment in a wide variety of jobs, ranging from working at nuclear power facilities, through to fuel processing and storage, regulation and research. Graduates may also qualify to proceed to a PhD in a relevant topic.

Scholarships will be provided to successful applicants, this will include a monthly stipend as well as payment of course fees.

The programme is fully aligned with the new Collaborative Tertiary Education Model (CTEM) as accepted by the NIASA Education Sub-Committee and developed by the North West University. MíSONE is a response to the national lack of skills training within the Nuclear Energy Sector. There is an urgent demand for a vast number of people with knowledge and skills relevant to nuclear energy to drive the proposed nuclear renaissance. The programme is currently in the accreditation process where the first year (coursework) is designed as an Honours degree and the second year (research project) as a MSc. The 2010 intake of students will complete the required course-work modules as individually credited short learning courses, satisfying the entrance requirements to the UJ M. Phil. Degree in Energy Studies (by research dissertation). It is envisaged within the CTEM that the Nuclear courses have a Core Component, an Elective Component and a Research Component. The Elective / Research Components of MíSONE will fill the niche for the following focus areas : Nuclear Materials, Reactor Simulation, Safety Analysis.