Friday, March 12, 2010
A South Carolina State University program designed to get students interested in nuclear science was slated to end in 2009. However, a new donation to the Nuclear Science Institute will allow it to continue this year.
Shaw/AREVA MOX Services, LLC presented a $100,000 check to the university’s Nuclear Engineering Program on Monday to continue the program that exposes high school students and guidance counselors to nuclear science and various fields of engineering.
PDF: Mox fact sheet
Sixth District Congressman James E. Clyburn, who was there for the presentation, said it is vital to get young people involved in nuclear science and producing nuclear energy.
“I’m convinced that the future in this country is going to be determined by who gets out in front of the energy issue,” he said. “The fact of the matter is, we’re not going to do what is necessary to do for this country economically ... without nuclear (energy).”
Clyburn said that producing nuclear energy is the only way to end dependence on foreign oil. It’s also going to be critical to producing new jobs that help secure the country’s economy, he said.
“We want to have more students in nuclear. We want to have more students in energy issues, because we know that’s what the future’s going to be,” Clyburn said.
David Stinson, president of Shaw/AREVA MOX Services, said his company is looking for a future workforce that is presently in middle and high school.
The company’s workforce is dwindling and needs trained workers who will be ready to work in a few years at the MOX facility being built at the Savannah River Site near Aiken, he said.
Stinson says he sees the project at S.C. State as an opportunity, “to get young people engaged in nuclear power and have the chance to work with them through mentorship programs.”
Shaw/AREVA MOX Services, LLC is the prime contractor for the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility. Once open, the facility will take surplus weapons-grade plutonium, remove impurities and mix it with uranium oxide to form fuel pellets for reactor fuel assemblies.