From 17 January through 2 February 2011, ASTM International hosted a delegation of eight standards experts from South Korean government and industry. The delegation was led by Mr. Suhho Lee from the Korean Agency for Technology and Standards (KATS), with whom ASTM has collaborated extensively since signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in May 2006. Funding for the program was provided primarily by the South Korean government with additional support from South Korean industry. ASTM arranged the logistics and arranged for the educational content. During this intensive training program, the delegation focused on the nuclear energy standards promulgated by ASTM Committees C26 on Nuclear Fuel Cycle and E10 on Nuclear Technology and Applications.
The training program began even prior to the arrival of the delegation in the U.S. In the weeks leading up to the training, the experts participated in two virtual orientation training sessions to learn about ASTM's electronic tools and the structure and work of the ASTM Committees. Upon arrival, the delegates launched into a week-long concentrated training program about the U.S. standardization system and ASTM International’s standards development process at ASTM International Headquarters. The delegates also came prepared to discuss specific ASTM standards they reference in their daily work and to offer suggestions for revisions to existing standards. In addition to meeting with key ASTM Staff members, the week at Headquarters also afforded the delegation the opportunity to conduct virtual meetings with members from three ASTM technical committees to gain insight into their technical work.
During the second week of training, ASTM Staff organized site visits for the delegation to gain practical insight into the use of ASTM International standards and included stops at Custom Alloy Corporation and Joseph Oat Corporation. Both companies are located in nearby New Jersey and provide components for building nuclear power plants. In addition, the delegates traveled to ASTM’s Washington, DC office where they met representatives from the American Society for Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and from the Advanced Systems Technology and Management, Inc., on behalf of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The delegates were also invited to the Department of Commerce to visit with staffers from the International Trade Administration (ITA) and learn about the U.S. Civil Nuclear Trade Initiative. One afternoon was also spent at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to visit the NIST Center for Neutron Research. Before departing Washington, the group also met with a senior director from NACE International which works closely on protective coatings standards for nuclear plants with ASTM Committee D33 on Protective Coating and Lining Work for Power Generation.
The delegation closed out their training program by attending the ASTM January Committee Week meetings of Committees C26 and E10 in Baltimore, MD. Attendance at meetings allowed the group to witness the ASTM consensus process in action and afforded the opportunity for discussion of proposals for revisions to existing standards and new work items being developed. During the committee meetings, ASTM committee officers and members were generous with their time in engaging the delegation in their discussions. The delegates also met at least three ASTM International members in attendance from their native country.
Mr. Gook-Ju Ihm from the Korea Testing Laboratory summarized the training program well when he noted that, "Through this Intensive Training course provided by ASTM International, I can get the knowledge of the way to make ASTM standards and the relationship to the nuclear industry so easily." Going forward, ASTM’s newest members from South Korea intend on participating in reviewing revisions to ASTM standards and submitting new proposals for consideration.