IFCEN: a project in support of the French nuclear industry
The Franco-Chinese Institute of Nuclear Energy (IFCEN) officially opened its doors on the Zhuhai campus in 2010. The aim of the institute is to offer a French-style training to approximately 100 Chinese engineers in nuclear engineering a year to meet the growing demand in Chinese industry and amongst French partner companies in the field of civil nuclear energy. China expects to connect more than fifty additional GWe to its existing network by 2020 using new nuclear power plants - a 600 % increase on the current number of its installations. Against this background, the French companies Areva and EDF have won sizeable construction contracts that require qualified skilled labour on site. Grenoble INP, which alone trains one engineer in six in the nuclear sector in France, has, for its part, agreed to manage the project to set up a training institute for engineers to help French companies expand abroad. IFCEN is the third major engineering school with integrated preparatory classes that has been set up in China, following the Beijing Central School on the Beihang University campus in 2005 and the Sino-European Institute of Aviation Engineering on the campus of the Civil Aviation University in Tianjin in 2007.