Austria does not operate any nuclear power plants (NPP), but it has the TRIGA Mark-II reactor since 1962, which is operated by the Vienna University of Technology/Atominstitut (ATI).
In the past one NPP was completed in 1978 - NPP Zwentendorf - but it was never put into operation. At the 1978 referendum, 50.47% of the population expressed a negative opinion against this NPP. In November the same year constitutional legislation prohibiting nuclear power plants on the Austrian territory was adopted as a result of this referendum. This decision affected deeply the education in nuclear engineering in the country.
In terms of medical nuclear sciences and applications , a proton and carbon accelerator facility named MedAustron (http://www.medaustron.at/) in Wiener Neustadt is currently being implemented for ion beam therapy.
On a commercial level, follow-up entities of the previous Austrian Research Center Seibersdorf (Seibersdorf Labor GmbH, Nuclear Engineering Seibersdorf, Austrian Institute of Technology) are dealing with nuclear question.
NUCLEAR EDUCATION AND TRAINING
Concerning the nuclear education, one of the distinctivenesses of the Austrian educative system is the existence of the Universities of Applied Sciences (Fachhochschulen) in which the training is more tailored to practically applicable professional skills. There are only two institutions that offer a degree of Bachelor within the nuclear scope. These institutions are the Upper Austria University of Applied Sciences/FH Oberösterreich teaching for a Radiological Technology Bachelor and the University of Applied Sciences Wiener Neustadt/Fachhochschule Wiener Neustadt which teaches also for a Radiological Technology Bachelor.
The only one university that offers a Master Degree within nuclear scope is the Upper Austria University of Applied Sciences and it is offered in the same field as the bachelor, the Radiological Technology.
The Atominstitut offers the possibility to carry out a post-bachelor (Master or PhD level) specialization in the fields of: Nuclear Technology, Radiochemistry, Radiation Protection, Nuclear and Astrophysics and X-Ray Physics.
Apart from the above mentioned scientific areas, there exists the possibility of working on a doctoral thesis within nuclear scope in any Physics Faculty of the Austrian universities and in the applied sciences research centers especially in the Atominstitut.
It is the Atominstitut which has the best extensive catalogue on nuclear courses, especially thanks to the relationship with the IAEA and with some European universities. Such example of this they are remarkable the Eugene Wigner Course and the co-operation with the Dalton Institute/University of Manchester. In total the Atominstitut offers about 80 theoretical and 10 practical courses within the nuclear scope. Most of these training courses are in the framework of ENEN and NEPTUNO projects. Besides the Stefan-Mayer-Institut/Stefan-Meyer-Institut für Subatomare Physik offers some seminars.
Nowadays, the only interest to keep nuclear education alive in the country is related primarily to medical/radiological issues as well as to environmental, health and safety concerns arising from nuclear power plants in neighboring countries. The major part of research activities in the nuclear field are dedicated to the development of nuclear fusion. There is only a small fraction of activities in the fields of fission energy and radiation protection (for ex. Graz University of Technology (TU Graz), the Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien), the University of Innsbruck, the Erich-Schmid Institute for Materials Science in Leoben, and the University of Vienna).
DEMAND FOR NUCLEAR EXPERTS
The country has practically no more nuclear industry; therefore, there are no urgent demands for skilled nuclear manpower in the short-term. The demand for nuclear experts in Austria focuses on the need for few experts for discussions on bilateral and international level, which is satisfactorily fulfilled by Atominstitut.