The Nuclear International Development Association (NIDA) proposes a nuclear conference to discuss the future of nuclear energy in light of the recent disasters in Japan. The objective of the project is to reassure the world that despite the risks, nuclear power remains viable.
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The fit of the project to strategic intent
The proposed conference on the future of nuclear power seeks to bring together experts in nuclear technology. They will discuss the implications of the Japanese disaster on the future of civilian nuclear development. After the Japanese disaster, no country feels safe since Japan has one of the best nuclear safety standards in the world.
Key Business Drivers
NIDA feels the need to organize this conference urgently to provide a platform for the experts to determine quickly and coherently the implications of the crisis. NIDA should reassure the world that nuclear power is still viable. Despite the challenges, NIDA is convinced that the energy source of the future is nuclear power.
The fit of Project in meeting efficacy targets
By bringing together nuclear experts at a time like this when nuclear safety is everyone’s concern, NIDA will have an opportunity to highlight the benefits of nuclear power to the world. The conference will command the respect of governments and intergovernmental agencies. Its outcome will provide a basis for the discussion of the future of nuclear energy.
Project costs and benefits Sought
Key cost items
The key cost items for the project are as follows.
|Conference facilities||Plenary halls and seminar rooms required to host the presentation of papers|
|Accommodation||Provision of accommodation for conference speakers and participants|
|Travel expenses||Air travel for conference speakers from all over the world|
|Media and Publicity||To publicize conference and to disseminate conference proceedings|
Several benefits will accrue from the conference. NIDA will receive fees from participants to run the conference and sponsors to support it. The conference proceeds will provide a net return to NIDA. Secondly, NIDA’s profile will rise in the nuclear energy industry as a promoter of nuclear power for development. The third benefit, which NIDA feels will be a “long-range benefit” and the most important one, is that NIDA will give the world a reason to continue having faith in nuclear power as a sustainable energy source (Maromonte, 1998, p.7).
Sensitivities in the benefit realization
If NIDA does not attract enough experts to the conference, the costs incurred in the preparation will be a waste. It will also fall into disrepute. Also, the failure of the conference will worsen global nuclear pessimism.
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Project description- scope
The scope of the conference spans civilian nuclear safety and its future. The context for the discussion is the Japanese disaster. It seeks to address the issue of nuclear safety from a global standpoint. The conference will not tackle nuclear proliferation or military uses of nuclear power. It will only look at nuclear safety concerns in civilian installations.
Key technical considerations
The key technical considerations for the conference include the logistical requirements, mobilization, information, and fundraising. Logistical requirements cover travel and accommodation. Information handling includes all communication to potential participants and the dissemination of conference materials thereafter. These include experts from all branches of nuclear technology and interested parties. Fundraising for the conference concludes the list of technical requirements.
Project duration-key stages
|Preconference period|| ||This will involve inviting experts in various fields of nuclear technology to produce conference papers|
| ||Invitations for individual and group participants, and subsequent registration to attend the conference|
|Conference period||Conference event||The conference sessions|
|Post-conference||Dissemination of conference proceeding||This includes sending out the materials gathered during the conference to decision making and opinion-shaping institutions as well as the general public|
Project delivery structure/authority – reporting lines
The conference will have a secretariat in the host city. There will be four executive officials in charge of planning committees.
- Conference director To chair the conference planning committee
- Media Liaison To ensure timely release of all advertisements and press releases for the conference
- Logistics manager In Charge of all international and local travel, and hotel bookings
- Rapporteur To capture all-conference proceeding for dissemination
External stakeholder management
NIDA external stakeholders include the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), and European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) and national governments. Liaison with the external stakeholders will take place under the direction of the secretariat
Internal stakeholder management
The internal stakeholders include corporate and individual members of NIDA, for them, they will be contacted and advised by the internal channels. This includes regular email updates and event listing on NIDA’s website. All other matters relating to them fall under normal organizational arrangements
Project risk strategies
Identification of project risks
|RISK TYPE||Impact||Probability of occurrence|
|Schedule||Late response by experts to submit abstracts||High||Medium|
|Late bookings of conference facilities||medium||low|
|Late registration by participants||medium||Medium|
|scope||Insufficient interest among experts||High||Very low|
|Inclusion of content beyond the scope of the conference||High||Medium|
|Resource||Lack of sponsors for the conference||High||Medium|
|Unavailability of conference venues||Low||Low|
Risk identification and tracking
In the project risk matrix above, the three most serious risks would be a late response by experts when asked to submit abstracts, Inclusion of content beyond the scope of the conference and lack of sponsors for the conference. These three risks will remain under careful observation by the conference planning committee to ensure they do not derail the planning process. It is important to note that some of the risks are the result of “external forces are outside the control of anyone in the organization” (Robinson & Robinson, 2005, p.14).
For the three major risks identified, the following mitigation strategies apply
Late response by experts
Mitigation measure: Avoidance
Ensure by personal follow-up through phone calls and emails that participating experts deliver abstracts on time.
Inclusion of content beyond scope by experts
Mitigation measure: Avoidance
Again, ensure experts get thorough briefs, not just on what to include, but also on what to exclude.
Lack of sponsors
Mitigation measure: Share
Seek co-hosts for the conference such that if there is a loss to incur, then it becomes a shared loss.
Identification of how to determine if the direct financial benefits have been achieved
The determination of the net income from the project will be the difference between the revenue to the conference less the expenses. The revenue stream for the conference will come from sponsorships and registration fees. The expenditure will include allowances paid to conference facilitators, fees paid for conference facilities, insurance, and transport costs. Other costs include correspondence costs and information dissemination. The difference between these two totals will be the net income to NIDA.
Identification of how to determine if indirect benefits have been achieved
Indirect benefits will not be as obvious as the financial benefits. This is because the conference aims at reducing the level of tension that the Japanese nuclear disasters have caused. The tension may cause a reduction in the number of new nuclear plants that are due for construction. It may also lead to an unnecessary tightening of approval procedures for the construction of nuclear plants.
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The key indicators as to whether the conference is successful will be the degree to which it reduces or eliminates unnecessary fear the Japanese incidents have caused. Studies conducted to determine whether construction schedules of planned nuclear plants are on track or not will provide the means to measure this outcome. NIDA will also monitor legislation and regulatory changes governing the use of nuclear power
Key success indicators
Project performance assessment
For the actual conference, the performance assessment will include the number of experts who present papers at the conference, the number of institutional participants, governments, and regulatory bodies who attend the conference. Other measures to determine the success of the conference will be the number of participants who attend the conference, and the depth of discussion that the experts generate on the conference theme.
There are short-term and long-term outcomes envisaged by this project. The short-term results of the project include a change of attitude among conference participants, reduction in international anxiety over the use of nuclear power and the setting up of a benchmark for nuclear safety. The long-term result expected is a sustained increase in the number of nuclear plants the world over.
The mechanism for capturing lessons learnt
The rapporteur will be the main agent for capturing the debate elicited by the presentations of the expert. He will capture the sentiments together with subcommittee members to provide the conference with a “coherent sense of direction” (Wall, 2004, p.4). Away from the conference, different studies commissioned by NIDA will determine the long-term lessons and influence the conference will have over nuclear safety.
Maromonte, K.R., (1998). Corporate Strategy Business Sourcing. Westport, CT. Greenwood Publishing Group, Inc.
Robinson, D.G. & Robinson, J.C., (2005). Strategic Business Partner: A Critical Role for Human Resource Professionals. San Fransisco, CA: Berret-Koehler publishers Inc.
Wall, S.J., (2004). On the Fly: Executing Strategy in a Changing World. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons.