Shaw/AREVA MOX Services, LLC Donates $100,000 to SC State's Summer Nuclear Science Institute

Friday, March 19, 2010

Shaw AREVA MOXShaw/AREVA MOX Services, LLC (MOX Services) in Aiken, S.C. recently presented a $100,000 check to SC State University’s Nuclear Engineering Program (NEP).  The gift will support the Summer Nuclear Science Institute, designed to expose high school students and guidance counselors to nuclear science and engineering.


MOX Services is a consortium operated by The Shaw Group and AREVA under a contract with the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) as part of their non-proliferation program to design, construct and operate a facility to convert surplus weapons-grade plutonium into nuclear fuel.


The Summer Nuclear Science Institute, which is hosted annually on the campus of SC State University, has attracted more than 60 applicants each summer since its inception in June 2008. The Institute’s initial funding was provided through grants from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Department of Education. This year, after depletion of grant funding, MOX Services adopted the program, providing funds for the 2010 Summer Nuclear Science Institute in an effort to extend its reach to high school students in South Carolina and other areas of the Southeast region.


“SC State University is appreciative of all of the support provided by MOX Services,” stated Dr. Kenneth D. Lewis, dean of the College of Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology. “The University’s partnership with the consortium initially began with the introduction of the MOX Scholars Program in 2008.  This program gives outstanding SC State University students in engineering, science and computer science the opportunity to receive full tuition scholarship support for up to two years, summer employment at the MOX facility and permanent job placement upon graduation from the University,” noted Dr. Lewis. “We were overjoyed upon learning of MOX Services’ decision to assist in sustaining the Summer Nuclear Science Institute,” he added.


During the check presentation ceremony, SC State University alumnus and Sixth District congressman, James E. Clyburn, expressed his support for the Summer Nuclear Science Institute.  “Nuclear power is necessary to meet the critical need of securing the nation’s energy independence and economic security,” said Clyburn. “There is a tremendous shortage of African American students in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs. We are trying to do everything we can to ensure that students on this campus and other campuses like it around the country are equipped to become a part of what we know will be the mainstream of nuclear energy going forward.  “We want to have more students in nuclear and energy issues because we know that’s what the future is going to be.”


MOX Services was impressed with the existing program, and as a result, they made the decision to adopt and fund the Summer Nuclear Science Institute. David Stinson, president and COO of MOX Services, shared his views on the importance of helping students succeed in areas of nuclear science and engineering. “When we started the MOX Scholars program, we were looking to make a mark in our community. We saw this as an opportunity to really get young people engaged in nuclear power,” stated Stinson. “We think it’s equally important to engage the minds of high school students in the area of nuclear science and bring them along as leaders of tomorrow, which is the result of our supporting the Summer Nuclear Science Institute.”


President George E. Cooper agrees. “I am exuberant about this generous donation from Shaw/AREVA MOX Services,” stated Cooper. “Nuclear engineering is one of the strongest academic programs at our University, and contributions from corporations such as Shaw/AREVA MOX Services, ensures that these programs continue and that we provide a wealth of information to our aspiring engineers.”


The MOX Services’ gift donated to the University to fund the Summer Institutes will bring high school students and guidance counselors from South Carolina and other states in the Southeast region to the campus of SC State University beginning in June 2010. During the week-long institutes, participants will reside on campus and will engage in an intensive series of lectures and hands-on laboratory activities in the areas of nuclear science, engineering, health and medical physics and radiochemistry. Participants will also conduct individual presentations and attend field trips to various nuclear-related sites.


For more information on SC State University’s Summer Nuclear Institute or to apply, contact April Hutton-Moorer, director, at (803) 516-4923, or via email at ahutton@scsu.edu.