Environmental Policy Institute receives $1 million DOE grant for nuclear research

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

ORANGEBURG – The Environmental Policy Institute at SC State’s James E. Clyburn University Transportation Center has received $1 million from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).

“These funds will go a long way to enhance the University’s policy on research and analysis,” said Dr. Reinhardt Brown, interim executive director of the university transportation center. “It will also provide much needed fund support to increase the number of students majoring in nuclear engineering at SC State.”

The $1 million grant will provide financial support of an Environmental Policy Institute project – “The Enhancement of Research Environmental Management and Science Curriculum through the Environmental Policy Institute at South Carolina State University.”

This is the third award, totaling $4 million, granted to the Environmental Policy Institute. The institute recently completed research on specification and certification of containers for the transport of nuclear sources.

“This new grant will allow for further research at the transportation center in the area of transportation of nuclear sources,” added Brown.

The new research project includes several components:

  • Research – Expand students’ knowledge and understanding on the safe and secure transport of radiological sources, spent fuel, tritium, nuclear fuel and hazardous materials.
  • Curriculum Development – Enhance the Health/Physics concentration within SC State’s existing Nuclear Engineering Program and establish a radiation protection technician concentration within the Industrial Engineering Technology major.
  • Student Development – Continuation of the Science, Math and Engineering Recruitment and Retention Program, and the development of a student summer internship program within NNSA laboratories.
  • Outreach and Training – Enhance the awareness of first responders and community leaders of their role in natural and/or man-made disasters resulting from a radiological source or hazardous waste incident.
  • Faculty Development – Further expand the existing Summer Institute to increase the number of faculty conducting research congruent with the mission and strategic plan of NNSA and the U.S. Department of Energy.

These components purport to develop research designed to meet the NNSA’s need to detect the movement of nuclear sources directly related to Defense Nuclear Proliferation; increase the number of students from minority serving institutions entering the area of science, math and engineering; and develop emergency response plans in rural communities around the Savannah River Site.

For additional information, contact Dr. Reinhardt Brown at (803) 536-8863 or via email at rbrown@scsu.edu.

The mission of the James E. Clyburn University Transportation Center is to assist federal, state and local agencies in meeting their goals to develop a highly skilled workforce to meet the future needs in transportation.