What participants in Nordic Nuclear Trainee Program think about Olkiluoto


The Nordic Nuclear Trainee Program run by Nordic nuclear power companies is coming to the end. In early September, the 16-strong group met in Olkiluoto for the second time. They previously visited here in February. This time their itinerary included visits to Posiva's encapsulation plant and the OL3 plant unit, among others. Their thoughts about the Program and the recent visit are presented in the following.

Marcin Slupski, who joined the NNTP Program through Uniper, says he is very happy that he sent the application in the first place.

- This has given the opportunity to see so much and meet some fantastic people. The group we form is such that I believe many of us will stay in contact also in the future, he sums up.

For Marcin, the most important new knowledge provided by the Program concerns the extent of the nuclear industry.

- This is a vast field, extending from fuel to final disposal and everything in between. This has been a good eye-opener also in that sense.

The absolute highlight of the recent visit to Olkiluoto was OL3.

- It was a magnificent and much awaited experience. I was impressed by the encapsulation plant as well. It is another masterpiece of engineering, he concludes.

Marcin Slupski mentioned that he had seen several "masterpieces of engineering" in Olkiluoto.

Victoria Berling, a participant to the Program through Vattenfall, became aware of the call for application to the Trainee Program very soon after her graduation. The timing was good, as Berling was looking for a job after completing her studies in chemistry and physics at the University of Gothenburg and thus the invitation to the Program on Vattenfall's website caught her eye immediately.

- Trainee programs in general were of interest to me as I did not have any previous experience in the field, she explains her reasons.

The Program has been a very good experience, and apart from gaining a lot of knowledge, she has particularly liked the good team spirit among the participants. The Program as a whole has made an impact.

- This has been a good opportunity to dive into the nuclear sector and see that the actual electricity production is only one area of the large overall process.

For her, Olkiluoto 3 was the source of the greatest awe during last week's excursion.

- It was a great experience. It was also interesting to hear about Posiva's operations and their background. And outside the Program, Finnish sauna was a wonderful experience indeed.

Victoria Berling praised the good camaraderie among the course participants.

Mergim Jakupi started in the NNTP Program soon after his graduation. Having studied energy technology in Stockholm, he was tipped about the Program by his aunt.

- I was looking for new challenges after the uni and when I was tipped about submitting an application, it immediately aroused my interest. I have always had a curious mindset and found the role of nuclear power in sustainable development a special point of interest in this particular opportunity.

And he has not been disappointed.
- Honestly said, taking part in this Program has been one of the best decisions in my whole life. Not only have I gained a lot of knowledge, I have also met extraordinarily wonderful people. All in all, I would say that the nuclear sector is characterised by a vast amount of expertise and it feels good to be part of this community, he says.

As with the others, OL3 was the number one thing to remember for him as well during the recent visit to Olkiluoto.

- It was great to see the brand new plant unit. The presentation training on the final day was also really good, he says.

According to Mergim Jakupi, participating in the NNTP program has been one of the best decisions of his life.

Daniel Neuman, who has studied physics in Stockholm, was told about the Program by a friend working a Vattenfall. Nuclear power was his specific area of interest anyway.

- The Program has been excellent. We have learned and seen a lot and in addition, we have had a great group of participants. I have gained many new friends, he sums up.

This was the group's second visit to Olkiluoto. And it was a good experience again. There were actually several highlights.

- Olkiluoto 3 was very impressive. It is hard to even explain, but both the size of the plant and the fact that everything is new makes it a place that was great to see by my own eyes. We also had the opportunity during this visit to hear a lot about Posiva's final disposal operation, which was also highly interesting. And although I am not usually really one for the sauna, it was still a great experience, he concludes.

Daniel Neuman joined the program after hearing nothing but good things from previous participants.

Design Engineer Teemu Penttala has worked at Fortum already for three years. In the NNTP Program, he was particularly interested in observing the operation of the nuclear industry also outside the company he himself works for.

The overall experience has fulfilled his expectations.

- I have learned a lot of new things, made good contacts and had the opportunity to study the sector from many different aspects, he sums up. The visits to both the encapsulation plant and OL3 remain foremost in his memory after the visit to Olkiluoto.

- It was great to see them both. Although I was already previously familiar with Posiva's concept, for example, seeing the equipment used in the process actually on the site made an impact, he says.

Teemu Penttala considered the visits to Olkiluoto during the recent trip as the highlights.

Antti Kangasperko works for Fortum as Senior Specialist on Strength Analysis. He became interested in th Program based on the good feedback he heard from Fortum employees who had participated in the same Program before.

- They were certainly telling the truth. This has been a very interesting program, he admits. He especially praises the rotation opportunity included in the Program.

- To be able to see things also outside one's own job and workplace is really wonderful in my opinion. The nuclear sector offers plenty of different opportunities and in this Program, you learn about them in a very concrete manner, he reflects. 

This time the visit to Olkiluoto was made memorable by not only the plant excursions but also the presentation training provided on the last day.

- I personally found it really useful, he praises.

Antti Kangasperko found the performance training held in Olkiluoto to be beneficial.

Text and images: Ville Kulmala