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Articles, Reports, Speeches, and Press

"Gattie: Eisenhower's nuclear legacy holds steady at Vogtle"
Guest Column by David Gattie, Ph.D.

The Augusta Chronicle
December 1, 2018

On Nov. 11, 1952, seven days after his election, President-elect Dwight Eisenhower met with Roy Snapp, Secretary of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, to be briefed on the status of nuclear energy in America - an energy resource with the potential to impact the world as never before. Eisenhower eventually would develop a national policy so-named, "Atoms for Peace", whereby the U.S. would develop the world's premier nuclear energy program and provide leadership in the global cycle of nuclear technology.

This meeting took place at the Augusta National Golf Club, where, 66 years later, the only nuclear power project in America is under construction just 41 miles down the road - Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4.

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"Reclassify waste to shift the nuclear landscape"

October 24, 2017

The US Department of Energy should classify and dispose of nuclear rubbish according to risk.

The United States has a single deep geological repository for nuclear waste. Since 1999, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), 655 metres down in a massive salt formation near Carlsbad, New Mexico, has received 12,000-odd shipments of what it calls transuranic waste. This is clothing, tools and other detritus from the nuclear-weapons programme that are contaminated by elements heavier than uranium. It's more hazardous than low-level waste, which can be buried closer to the surface, but not as dangerous as high-level waste, for which a disposal site has yet to be found.

WIPP was closed for three years after radiation escaped from a ruptured drum in 2014. It was given the all-clear to reopen only in January; an enquiry determined that the drum had been packed improperly before shipment from the Los Alamos National Laboratory in northern New Mexico. Concerns remain about safety, as well as the long-term risk of human intrusion into a facility that will remain dangerous for thousands of years after its eventual closure. But by and large, WIPP has functioned as designed, and it could do even more to help the US Department of Energy (DOE) address the fallout from the country's nuclear-weapons programme.

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"Students explore atoms, elements during Nuclear Science Week"
By Larry Wood

The Aiken Standard
October 19, 2017

Seventh-graders from Paul Knox Middle School in North Augusta journeyed to the center of the atom Wednesday as part of Nuclear Science Week.

During the morning, students learned about protons and neutrons and created a three-dimensional model of the periodic table of elements working with Dr. Gary Senn, director of USC Aiken's Ruth Patrick Science Education Center.

Later, the students focused on the structure of atoms and learned how electrons work and how the periodic table is organized. Then, during a hands-on program titled "Mixing Matter," they combined compounds together to witness chemical change.

"Our area is so focused on nuclear science with the Savannah River Site and Plant Vogtle," Senn said. "Nuclear Science Week gives an opportunity to highlight the real advantages we have in our area with that focus."

Many of the students who participate in Nuclear Science Weeks programs at the Ruth Patrick Center have relatives who work locally in the nuclear industry, Senn said.

"Coming here to learn about things where their parents or grandparents or aunts and uncles work adds to their excitement about learning about nuclear science," he said.

Because the activities for Nuclear Science Week are so popular, the Ruth Patrick Center extends the celebration into a second week, Senn said, and student come from throughout the region.

"We've had kids from Wrens, Georgia, and Bamberg," he said.

Other agencies participate, too, Senn said. Representatives from the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory did a program on radioecology, which studies how radioactive substances interact with nature. Chemical engineers and other employees from the Savannah River Site also volunteer to teach programs.

"It's great to see the community gather together," Senn said.

Senn said Nuclear Science Week fits perfectly with the Ruth Patrick Center's focus on STEM education.

"We are eager to help young people get excited about science, technology, engineering and mathematics so that, hopefully, as they get older they will consider STEM as a career path," he said.

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"Robotics Week at SRS museum exposes future engineers to robotics"
By Stacie Landrum

The Aiken Standard
October 19, 2017

The Savannah River Site museum was filled with excited children Tuesday, as they celebrated Robotics Week and were able to not only show off their own creations but work hands-on with robots and even see a robotic "celebrity" on display.

For the month of October, several robots from SRS are on display at the museum, some of which have operated at SRS for different tasks.

"They were bought back in the '80s for us to learn how to make and run robots," said David Wilkerson, who is a retired employee from SRS but now works in the SRS museum.

There was even a "celebrity" in the group. A robot designed by a team at SRS called "Jabberwock" was on display, along with a continuously playing video of the competitions it competed in on the TV show, Battle Bots.

A recording of both victories and defeats played on a screen behind it, fascinating children who gathered to take a picture with Jabberwock.

Also on display were remote control robots, as well as LEGO robots that required children to program them to do a certain task.

Wilkerson said LEGO does make motorized sets, giving children a chance to be able to start with the very basics of robotics and spark that interest at an early age.

According to Organization Team Leader Jane Monroe, introducing students to robotics is very similar to introducing students to sports. LEGO League Jr. begins introducing children from kindergarten to third grade to robotics. They begin learning skills such as teamwork and critical thinking. Math concepts and scientific technology are introduced in fourth grade.

In the eighth grade, schools begin transitioning from LEGO into modifiable hardware and keep advancing until students are ready for competitions at a high school level.

"They do it in sports all the time," Monroe said. "They keep progressing up through those leagues and adding to their skill set until they get to the high school league, and then they're ready to play for the high school. That's similar to what we're trying to do."

Monroe also said this year they have schools that want to create a team but do not have the funding or the mentors. She pointed out that while they can build the funding, they cannot teach someone how to teach the teams. They need volunteers to step in and mentor students.

Zachary Savage, an electrical engineer at Textron, is mentoring a team for the second year and plans to keep going, saying that while it takes a lot of time, it is rewarding.

"If you get real engineers, and they're working with them, it's kind of a good thing," Savage said. "They ask questions all the time, like what's your job like, what's college going to be like, and they can get some really good advice out of it.

Greg Pratt, a mechanical robot mentor in the program from Almost Heaven Lawn Care, also said how important events - such as Robotics Week at the SRS museum - are to robotics teams.

"I think it helps the kids communicate what they're doing," Pratt said. "They like to show off their work and are interested in what other people think about their robots."

Events such as Robotics Week, expose student robotics teams to possible sponsors and mentors.

"When we do expositions, we're trying to do two things," Monroe said. "We're trying to get sponsorships and mentors, because what my group does is we consolidate all of the funding and then we allocate."

Monroe said it is important to make sure the program is available to schools and it is available to every student, not just the students who can afford it.

Robotics is not the only thing the program teaches.

"We teach them how to budget," Monroe said. "Each robotics team has a budget, and they purchase everything they have next to that and track it."

Robotics teaches students skills such as project management, teamwork and administration, Monroe said. It also exposes students to the trades that back up engineering.

Students are also learn everyday skills such as speaking to adults as they explain their projects and demonstrate how they work.

Outside of the museum, students were able to get hands-on experience with some of the technology introduced in the robotics leagues on display. Elementary school students used laptops to program small robots to perform tasks like picking up an object and moving it around, among other things.

"I believe these events will allow our students to be exposed to technology and STEM education, which is crucial for our changing world," said Labrina Chandre, a teacher in the gifted students program at Jefferson Elementary School.

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"SRNS strives to be safe, innovative"
By Stuart MacVean, Guest Columnist

The Aiken Standard
October 17, 2017

Success at the Savannah River Site starts and ends with our most important asset - our workforce. By any measure - safety, operational milestones, infrastructure investments, cost savings - we've had a banner year in FY 2017, but it's the strides we've made in recruiting, retaining and developing our highly skilled SRS workforce that are making the most difference, both now and for the long-term.

This month, I will mark one year as president and CEO of Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, a job that continues to excite, challenge and energize me each day. Within that year, more than 540 new hires have joined me at SRNS bringing the total to more than 1,800 hired since 2014, 83 percent of whom are from the region. I find them all to be just as motivated and excited to be a part of the meaningful work we do to "make the world safer" as the dedicated veteran workforce here for many years.

We are investing in both our current and future workforce, inspiring and rewarding them as we build for the future by simplifying our onboarding process, providing market equity adjustments for engineers and scientists, making SRS a more compelling place to work by bringing renovations to the cafeteria, a new coffee shop and a stretch of roadway newly opened for cycling. These initiatives continue to gain momentum and are helping attract some of the best and brightest from the region, earning SRNS recognition as the "Workforce Innovator of the Year" by the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce.

But, safety continues to be our top priority. I'm proud to report that FY 2017 was one of the best years SRNS has experienced in safety. Recently, we've achieved 6 million safe hours and we're still going strong.

We're continuously looking for new and innovative ways to make our workplace safer. Earlier this year, SRNS partnered with the Department of Energy and local first responders for an unprecedented active shooter emergency response drill and exercise that yielded important lessons learned to bolster worker preparedness.

With our highly motivated workforce and impressive safety performance, FY 2017 was also one of our most successful years in terms of our production mission. For the first time since SRNS assumed the contract, all of our production facilities are operational, allowing SRNS to complete more of our vital national security missions or perform upgrades and maintenance earlier than planned.

Our focus on efficiency and high performance resulted in $42 million in productivity and cost savings in FY 2017, allowing SRNS to double down on infrastructure improvements and make tremendous strides in improving facility and site conditions.

SRNS also continued its tradition of giving to local colleges and schools, charitable organizations and other community groups. We invested approximately $1 million in local communities in FY2017, bringing the total to over $9 million since SRNS became the M&O contractor in 2008. And our educational outreach programs reached 29,000 students this year. We know our license to operate comes from our relationship with the community and we appreciate your ongoing support.

Going forward, we will increase the momentum that has yielded such a successful year, ensuring we continue to deliver clear progress for our country, our community and the environment.

Stuart MacVean is the president and CEO of Savannah River Nuclear Solutions

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"How the United States plans to trap its biggest stash of nuclear-weapons waste in glass"
Article by Jeff Tollefson

October 10, 2017

After decades of delays, a challenging clean-up project is gaining ground.

There's a building boom at the Hanford Site, a once-secret complex on the windswept plains of southeastern Washington state. Construction crews are working to finish a 27-metre-tall concrete structure there by June. If all goes well, the facility will finally enable the US Department of Energy (DOE) to begin treating the toxic, radioactive waste that accumulated at the site for more than 40 years, starting during the Second World War.

Decades after the site stopped producing plutonium for nuclear weapons, the legacy of Hanford's activities is still causing trouble. Just this year, a tunnel holding railway carriages full of radioactive material collapsed. Separately, at least a dozen employees who were tearing down a contaminated building reportedly tested positive for plutonium inhalation. But the site's biggest challenge lies underground, in 177 carbon-steel tanks. Together, these buried containers hold more than 200 million litres of highly hazardous liquids and peanut-buttery sludge - enough to fill 80 Olympic-size swimming pools. More than one-third of the tanks have leaked, contaminating groundwater with radioactive and chemical waste.

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"Summer program turns teachers into nuclear students"
By Thomas Gardiner

The Aiken Standard
June 23, 2017

Tables turned for a dozen teachers this week as they swapped roles and sat behind desks as students during the Southeastern Summer Nuclear Institute, organized by the Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness.

The annual professional development course wrapped up its third year after a three-day stretch of classes, tours and guest speakers.

Teachers traveled to the University of South Carolina Aiken from as far away as Atlanta and Greenville, S.C., to take part in the institute.

"I got a notice about the program from our district professional development," said Dr. Laurel Sullivan, a physical science and biology teacher from Spring Hill High School in Lexington, S.C.

"I was interested because my son is in a nuclear field in the Navy and I wanted to understand more.We live very close to the V.C. Summer nuclear plant, too. Since we are a career pathways magnet school, this information will help guide students who want to work at the plant."

The nuclear institute included tours of several nuclear connected entities from the defense, energy and medical industries.

The group toured Savannah River Site, Plant Vogtle and the nuclear medicine department at Augusta University.

"This year is my first year with SSNI, but we did add a few aspects to this year's tours," said Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness Director Jim Marra. "We did an expanded tour of Savannah River National Laboratory. That gave the teachers a chance to see the research side of SRS missions along with the operational plant side."

Marra said the institute's goal is to get accurate information about nuclear activities into the hands of educators.

He said that information could help society as a whole understand its relation to nuclear work and the importance of nuclear efforts in energy, medicine and national defense.

"When we teach in class, a lot of the teens pay more attention to things with a little danger, so I think I tend to kind of ramp those things up in class," said Karis Texidor, a physical science and Advanced Placement chemistry teacher at Evans High School. "After seeing more of the occupational side, not just the chemistry side of nuclear, I think I may have done a disservice to some of those students. The biggest takeaway from this is a solid, balanced nuclear education."

Sullivan and Texidor both said they gained new perspectives on the occupational aspects of the nuclear industry.

"There is a lot of opportunity for skilled labor at SRS," Sullivan said. "I'm going to take back a better understanding of career opportunities for our students that you don't need a four-year degree for. SRS was interesting because they would offer workers new positions and then train them to do that job. They really invest in their workforce."

Marra said he hopes the program can expand farther into the South in coming years.

"The Southeast region is important in nuclear industry," he said. "We had teachers here from technical institutes, from their recruiting teams.

"We want a broader range of teachers and staff to be able to take information back to better be able to help students make decisions about their futures."

Said Texidor: "From the chemistry side, I loved the national lab. "Everything in the program was great and it was really informative. I learned a lot of good, new ways to present information to the students."

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"States Are Taking Note of Nuclear Energy's Carbon Free Benefits"
By Carol Browner, Contributor

Former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator
Former Director of White House Office on Energy and Climate Change Policy
The Huffington Post
May 23, 2017

As a former administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, I care deeply that progress continue to be made in the fight against climate change - and policymakers in states across the country are stepping up to do just that. I also know the resolve it requires to drive meaningful change in how we develop and use energy, which is the key factor in combatting climate change.

Ultimately, there is no silver bullet that will solve climate change. Rather, we have to pursue an array of promising solutions. To that end, I have always been a strong proponent of renewable sources of energy. It is increasingly clear that clean power sources such as wind and solar have an important role to play in our energy infrastructure. However, in our menu of clean energy options, nuclear energy and its carbon free output often is overlooked for its contributions in the fight against climate change.

I have always been a proud environmentalist, but I didn't always support nuclear energy. In fact, up until a few years ago, I instinctively opposed it. But when I took a closer look, I had a realization. Our existing nuclear plants produce no carbon pollution while generating a constant and reliable supply of electricity. They produce 20 percent of this country's energy and account for 60 percent of our carbon-free power. Plus, they help us avoid more than half a billion tons of carbon pollution each year.

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"CNTA, SRS take over the classroom for Lifelong Learning Series at USCA"

The Aiken Standard
April 23, 2017

Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness, also known as CNTA, joined forces with the Savannah River Site to host a series of classes in February for the Academy of Lifelong Learning at USC Aiken.

Representatives from Savannah River National Laboratory, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility and Savannah River Remediation gave presentations on current and future missions of their respective areas.

Instructors included Bill Bates, Rudy Goetzman, and Aaron Washington, SRNL; Jimmy Winkler, SRNS; David Del Vecchio, MOX; Kim Hauer and Jonathan Bricker, SRR.

Dr. Jim Marra, CNTA executive director, said the subject matter experts involved did an excellent job conveying complex information clearly.

"All the speakers made a great effort to take a technical topic and make it understandable for non-technical audiences," Marra said. "I appreciate this group offering their time and talents to help educate interested citizens. And we thank all those who came out to learn a little more about the Savannah River Site."

The lecture covered topics ranging from nuclear materials management, environmental management support, a MOX mission overview, liquid waste clean-up missions, among other nuclear missions.

Washington, a principal scientist for the SRNL Advanced Characterization and Processing group, said the audience was engaged in the lesson.

"The class was a fantastic forum to share more information about the mission of the site and the vast capabilities that SRNL brings to the region," Washington said. "Through these lectures, the presenters were able to foster a dialogue with participants that led to a better understanding of our purpose and how the community can be more involved in what we do."

USCA's Academy of Lifelong Learning offers educational, intellectually stimulating programs, including speakers, activities, and demonstrations on a wide variety of subjects by University professors, regional experts, and Academy members. CNTA is an Aiken-based charitable educational organization dedicated to providing factual information about nuclear topics and educating the public on nuclear issues.

For more information, call CNTA at 803-649-3456 or email at

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"Welcome Rick Perry, now let's finish MOX"

The Aiken Standard
March 7, 2017

Aiken Standard readers may recall that previously we've endorsed the confirmation of former Texas Gov. Rick Perry as the next U.S. Secretary of Energy.

As it relates to the Savannah River Site, we still think Perry is a good choice to succeed former Secretary Ernest Moniz. It's about time the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility, or MOX, gets going.

Time will tell whether or not Perry can make that a reality, though recently released reports signal continuing difficulties with the beleaguered project.

Recently released reports by the U.S. DOE and National Nuclear Security Administration demonstrate continued inefficiency, cost overruns and delays.

U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., did his best to put lipstick on a pig during a House budget hearing last week, noting the MOX project is 70 percent complete and vital to our national security interests.

Wilson is correct when he says MOX is key to our national security. Citing "unfriendly action" by the U.S., Russian President Vladimir Putin withdrew from the Plutonium Management and Disposition Agreement in August 2016.

Russia went on to declare that it was living up to its end of the bargain while America was not.

The report came from Russian media sources, so the totality and veracity of the latter claim certainly deserves some scrutiny. But Russia's withdrawal from the deal is nothing to sneeze at. The perception that we're playing games with MOX was all Putin needed to pull the plug.

It remains unclear, though, whether MOX really is 70 percent as is often claimed.

A recent U.S. DOE report presented conflicting cost and timetable figures. According to the contractor, the total cost is shy of $10 billion with a completion date in 2029. However, the DOE's assessment places cost at $17 billion with completion not until 2048. Similarly, an NNSA report termed progress on the MOX facility as "unsatisfactory."

On the surface, the DOE's grim assessment is perplexing. The Salt Waste Processing Facility at SRS was completed ahead of schedule and under budget. It strikes us as odd that one SRS facility could be constructed relatively seamlessly while MOX faces one setback or another.

Our only conclusion is that politics are driving MOX delays.

It should be noted the grim DOE assessment was performed under the previous administration, which signaled strong opposition to MOX and had frosty relations with Russia.

It's also noteworthy the DOE and NNSA are co-defendants in the MOX lawsuit South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson filed in February 2016.

South Carolina's request for "economic and impact assistance payments" - i.e. fines - has been dismissed, though two other components of the suit are pending with future mediation dates set. Regardless, we're betting defendants in the pending MOX case aren't exactly motivated to expedite MOX construction.

Rick Perry can change that. During his Senate confirmation hearings, in response to an indirect question about perpetual MOX delays, Perry called it a question of management, suggesting he would do better.

We hope Perry does do better. Funding MOX at minimum levels and postponing budget votes until the ninth hour as Congress has to date won't get the project done. Hard work and commitment will.

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"Funding method approved for USC Aiken, national lab facility"
Article by Thomas Gardiner

The Aiken Standard
September 28, 2016

The State Fiscal Accountability Board approved a funding method for the highly anticipated Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative planned for USC Aiken, according to local and state officials.

According to the board agenda from its Sept. 20 meeting, the project will be funded through bonds and will not exceed $51 million.

The collaborative is a venture between the Savannah River National Laboratory and USC Aiken. According to the agenda, the Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative facility will be just over 65,000 square feet and will have dedicated space for both SRNL and USC Aiken.

The USCA role at the facility will focus on technology research, risk management and workforce development for chemical manufacturing missions.

Will Williams, president and CEO of the Economic Development Partnership, said, "We were very pleased to receive state approval for the authority to issue the bonds, and appreciated several of our local legislators' support of that action. Additional routine governmental approvals are required but for now, the project continues to advance toward what we hope will be a project start early next year.

"Currently DOE is going through its internal approval process and we soon hope to hear from them that the project is approved and can move forward to the project's financing phase," Williams continued.

During this week's meeting of the Citizens Advisory Board, or CAB, representatives from the Department of Energy and Savannah River National Laboratory mentioned the collaborative. Representatives said several other steps had to be taken before the DOE could sign and finalize approval of the project, but further details about the process or the collaborative were not made available.

S.C. Sen. Tom Young, R-Aiken, said, "This project is a great opportunity for our community to collaborate with universities, local industries, and the National Lab on cutting edge initiatives in advanced manufacturing and research which will mean more jobs for our area. Our legislative delegation is hopeful that the process with DOE will be completed soon so the project can start."

Williams also said, "This remains a very beneficial project for SRNL, USCA, the greater Aiken community and The State of South Carolina."

According to DOE representatives at the CAB meeting, the Energy Department is expected to review the developments and implement the necessary processes in coming days in order to move the collaborative forward.

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"Savannah River Site organization to address education, workforce goals with grant"

The Aiken Standard
July 28, 2016

The Savannah River Site Community Reuse Organization highlighted achievements and future plans Thursday in a luncheon celebrating its recently awarded grant worth $5 million.

The grant money is allotted to the SRSCRO's Nuclear Workforce Initiative, or NWI, to address educational and economic gaps in efforts to prepare the future nuclear industry workforce. According to Jack Craig, director of the Savannah River Site for the Energy Department, the average age of the nuclear site's workforce is about 50 years old. He said approximately half of the employees are eligible to retire in the next few years, leaving job vacancies that need to be filled.

"We are blazing a trail to plan for the workforce in the future," he said.

Craig said the aging workforce is a concern across the entire U.S. Department of Energy, and SRS is a model within the department.

The Community Reuse Organization was awarded an initial grant to spin-up the initiative in 2011. Like this new grant, it was valued at about $5 million, spread out over five years. According to NWI Program Manager Mindy Mets, the initiative has accomplished much in education and job placement during the last several years.

"Not all of our programs have been in place the whole time," she said. "Some of the educational programs are only about two years old."

Mets said there have been 600 college students in the educational programs in partnerships with many regional colleges and universities. There are 16 college educational programs with partner schools that include USC Aiken, Augusta University, Augusta Technical College and Aiken Technical College. Programs vary from advanced welding to programs in nuclear science and chemistry.

Mets said, "Education and training are where the rubber meets the road. We have something special here, we are growing our own."

Programs like welding are needed because of the various operations at Savannah River Site.

According to Craig, "Running the site is like running a small city. We need all of those support functions too, like lawyers and administrative support."

He added that needs also extend to construction personnel and qualified welders for intricate, multi-year projects like the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility, or MOX.

According to SRSCRO, the grant money will fund those educational programs in addition to teacher education, equipment and material support, as well as scholarships. Mets said teacher education is an important function because it helps reach younger students to encourage interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, careers.

Dr. Susan Winsor, recently retired president of Aiken Technical College and NWI partner, said, "We are going to have students achieving their educational goals, and we have employers who are happy to employ them. That's what it's all about at the end of the day."

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"SRNL partnership with USC Aiken puts the university in good company"

The Aiken Standard
March 26, 2016

The newly announced partnership between Savannah River National Laboratory and USC Aiken will bring much more to the campus than just a state-of-the-art research facility.

The university has been selected as the proposed location for the Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative for the Savannah River National Laboratory. The new laboratory is intended to promote partnerships among industry, academia, and government in the creation and implementation of new technology.

The timing of USCA's selection as the host site and academic partner for the lab couldn't have been better. Earlier in the month, the university announced a partnership with Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, who donated $550,000 to sponsor an endowed faculty position in the engineering department. According to the university, that endowment allows them to recruit top-notch research scientists to work side-by-side with students. Now, those professors will be located near a top-tier national lab.

The proposed facility is currently planned to be built not far from the Ruth Patrick Science Education Center, which is a major outreach channel for USC Aiken. Home to the DuPont Planetarium, the Ruth Patrick center hosts scores of local youth for educational field trips during the school year as well as science camps during the public school off-season. Two other public hot spots, the Wellness Center and Etherredge Center, share the same parking lot, making the proposed location a potential epicenter for activity.

That means more attention and more visibility. There are currently 21 listed national laboratories with the DOE nationwide, a handful of which are associated with universities. Some of those names may be recognizable, like Stony Brook, University of California Berkeley, Iowa State University, Princeton. That's pretty good company to keep.

USC Aiken Chancellor Dr. Sandra Jordan said, "We are still doing some research but I believe we may be the only site with a (DOE) national laboratory on-campus."

Whether or not these facilities are collected within campuses, being one of only about a half-dozen academic partners with DOE is a major opportunity.

There are 13 Nobel Prizes associated with the UC Berkeley lab. It sometimes takes quite a lot to get noticed on a smaller campus. With a total student population around 4,000 students, USC Aiken is less than half the size of the next largest university on the list, and that university is a private, Ivy League school. There are no promises that a Nobel award will come to Aiken, but it would seem that USC Aiken and Chancellor Jordan are doing something right.

This partnership also could add a level of recognition and prestige to any degree earned at the university. Even if a graduate of Iowa State or Princeton did not major in something like quantum physics, their degree would still carry a lot of weight because they come with instant name recognition. USC Aiken has already been recognized as an elite, top-tier regional university but this could bring national recognition to its graduates.

For the community, more scientists would come to work with the site. Advancements at the lab could bring notoriety for SRS and would likely bring in delegations from other institutions, scientific conferences and could perpetuate an increasingly talented workforce. Given that everyone takes full advantage of the opportunities that arise, those things would all amount to more money in the local economy. While the political processes play out, life goes on at the site. This beacon of hope in a shadowy forest of news about potential MOX shutdowns and plutonium shipments from Japan is welcome information.

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"Nuclear power has number of benefits"
Donald N. Bridges, Guest Columnist

North Augusta Today
November 11, 2015

Nuclear technology has a large impact in our part of South Carolina and Georgia with nuclear work at the Savannah River Site and nuclear power plants operating and being built nearby: Plant Vogtle site in Waynesboro, Ga. and V.C. Summer site in Jenkinsville, S.C. This represents a substantial beneficial economic impact to the area.

What might be surprising is the beneficial impact of the nuclear power industry at the national level. A recent study by the Brattle Group, sponsored by the advocacy group Nuclear Matters, produced some astounding numbers. Entitled The Nuclear Industry's Contribution to the U.S. Economy, this study by researchers Mark Berkman and Dean Murphy addressed the economic importance of existing nuclear power plants and the adverse consequences resulting from premature shutdown of these plants.

There are 99 commercial reactors at 62 plant sites that are operational across the United States with a combined capacity of 798,400,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of electrical generation per year - providing nearly 1/5 of the nation's electricity with significant additional benefits for our economy and lifestyle.

The $60 billion economic impact represents 475,000 jobs nationwide. Employees within the industry are highly trained workers in high technology environments, and enjoy wages typically one-third higher than comparable jobs. In addition, this industry contributes $10 billion in federal taxes and $2.2 billion in state taxes annually.

Environmentally, nuclear power plants measurably reduce polluting gases associated with fossil fuel energy production. The existing nuclear power fleet annually avoids massive greenhouse gas releases including:

Nuclear power provides 63 percent of America's carbon free energy production. The reduction in C02 emissions is the equivalent to that produced by 122 million automobiles. According to the National Academy of Science, the estimated amount of environmental and health damage averted is nearly $34 billion per year.

And what if nuclear power was unavailable? If natural gas and coal-fired production took up the slack, then average electrical prices for consumers would rise by about 6 percent. Nuclear power offers a distinct advantage due to its reduced operating costs over competing sources of electricity.

Typically, nuclear power plants have larger capital costs but lower operating costs in comparison to other sources of energy. This permits relatively stable long-term costs with highly efficient operations over extended periods of time. This cost stability is unique. Other sources of electricity - such as natural gas - are subject to greater price fluctuations. Nuclear power's unmatched efficiency and long-term reliability make it an excellent "base-load" option.

Safety remains the hallmark of the nuclear power industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, last year marked the industry's best workplace accident safety record ever. Deaths per megawatt hour are the lowest among all major energy production sources. Safety standards within the industry are continually upgraded by both management and regulators.

Given these benefits from nuclear energy, how does this critical industry factor into the ongoing debate regarding national energy policy? Here are a few key points:

Overall, nuclear power remains a vital component of any realistic and achievable energy policy.

Donald Bridges was a program manager at the Savannah River Site for DOE for more than 30 years, formerly a chair of the SRS Citizens Advisory Board, and now serves as vice chairman of the Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness. He holds a doctorate from Georgia Tech.

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"FACT SHEET: Obama Administration Announces Actions to Ensure that Nuclear Energy Remains a Vibrant Component of the United States' Clean Energy Strategy"
Press Release

The White House
For Immediate Release: November 6, 2015

As detailed in the Climate Action Plan, President Obama is committed to using every appropriate tool to combat climate change. Nuclear power, which in 2014 generated about 60 percent of carbon-free electricity in the United States, continues to play a major role in efforts to reduce carbon emissions from the power sector. As America leads the global transition to a low-carbon economy, the continued development of new and advanced nuclear technologies along with support for currently operating nuclear power plants is an important component of our clean energy strategy. Investing in the safe and secure development of nuclear power also helps advance other vital policy objectives in the national interest, such as maintaining economic competitiveness and job creation, as well as enhancing nuclear nonproliferation efforts, nuclear safety and security, and energy security.

The President's FY 2016 Budget includes more than $900 million for the Department of Energy (DOE) to support the U.S. civilian nuclear energy sector by leading federal research, development, and demonstration efforts in nuclear energy technologies, ranging from power generation, safety, hybrid energy systems, and security technologies, among other things. DOE also supports the deployment of these technologies with $12.5 billion in remaining loan guarantee authority for advanced nuclear projects through Title 17. DOE's investments in nuclear energy help secure the three strategic objectives that are foundational to our nation's energy system: energy security, economic competitiveness, and environmental responsibility.

Today, the White House is announcing and highlighting the following actions to sustain and advance nuclear energy, including:

  1. Launching the Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear: DOE is establishing the Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) to provide the nuclear energy community with access to the technical, regulatory, and financial support necessary to move new or advanced nuclear reactor designs toward commercialization while ensuring the continued safe, reliable, and economic operation of the existing nuclear fleet. GAIN will provide the nuclear community with a single point of access to the broad range of capabilities - people, facilities, materials, and data - across the DOE complex and its National Lab capabilities. Focused research opportunities and dedicated industry engagement will also be important components of GAIN, ensuring that DOE-sponsored activities are impactful to companies working to realize the full potential of nuclear energy. GAIN will feature:

    • Access to Capabilities: Through the Clean Energy Investment Center in DOE's Office of Technology Transitions (OTT), GAIN will provide a single point of contact for users interested in a wide range of nuclear energy related capabilities and expertise. As an initiating step, Idaho National Lab will serve as the GAIN integrator for Office of Nuclear Energy capabilities.

    • Nuclear Energy Infrastructure Database: DOE is also publishing the Nuclear Energy Infrastructure database (NEID), which provides a catalogue of existing nuclear energy related infrastructure that will enhance transparency and support nuclear community engagement through GAIN. NEID currently includes information on 802 research and development instruments in 377 facilities at 84 institutions in the United States and abroad. Nuclear technology developers can access the database to identify resources available to support development and implementation of their technology, as well as contacts, availability, and the process for accessing the capability.

    • Small Business Vouchers: To support the strong interest in nuclear energy from a significant number of new companies working to develop advanced nuclear energy technologies, DOE plans to make $2 million available in the form of vouchers to provide assistance to small business applicants (including entrepreneur-led start-ups) seeking to access the knowledge and capabilities available across the DOE complex. This will enhance the ability of GAIN to serve a broader segment of the nuclear community. Information on available capabilities can be found HERE.

    • Assisting Navigation of the Regulatory Process: The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), consistent with its role as an independent safety and security regulator, will provide DOE with accurate, current information on the NRC's regulations and licensing processes. DOE will work through GAIN with prospective applicants for advanced nuclear technology to understand and navigate the regulatory process for licensing new reactor technology.

  2. Convening Second Workshop on Advanced Non-Light Water Reactors - The NRC and DOE will hold the Second Advanced Non-Light Water Reactors Workshops in spring 2016. The successful first workshop was held in September 2015. The purpose of the workshop is to explore options for increased efficiency, from both a technical and regulatory perspective, in the safe development and deployment of innovative reactor technologies. This would include examining both near-term and longer-term opportunities to test, demonstrate, and construct prototype advanced reactors, and evaluate the most appropriate licensing processes.

  3. Supplementing Loan Guarantee Solicitation for Nuclear Energy: Today, DOE is supplementing its existing solicitation that makes up to $12.5 billion in loan guarantees available to support innovative nuclear energy projects. The solicitation states that eligible projects can include construction of advanced nuclear reactors, small modular reactors, uprates and upgrades at existing facilities, and front-end nuclear facilities. In addition, the new supplement clarifies that project costs for an eligible project that are incurred as part of the NRC licensing process, such as design certification, construction permits, and combined construction and operating licenses (COL), could be eligible costs that may be financed with a loan guaranteed by DOE.

  4. Establishing Light Water Reactor (LWR) Research, Development, and Deployment Working Group: DOE is formally announcing the establishment of the LWR Research, Development, and Deployment (RDD) Working Group to examine possible needs for future RDD to support the development of competitive advanced LWRs, as well as maintain the safe, efficient operations of currently operating nuclear power plants. The group will consist of federal, national laboratory, and industry participants. Recommendations are expected to DOE by February 2016.

  5. Addressing Small Modular Reactor Needs through Consortium for Advanced Simulation of Light Water Reactors: Today, DOE's Consortium for Advanced Simulation of Light Water Reactors (CASL) is signing an agreement with NuScale to establish new cost-shared modeling and simulation tools under the CASL Energy Innovation Hub at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. This agreement specifies the work that will be done by CASL to install and support the use of its virtual reactor tools on NuScale systems and by NuScale to simulate performance questions using CASL tools. Through this agreement, CASL tools will be expanded to better simulate SMR operation and inform design decisions. These efforts can lead to more efficient reactor designs that improve lifetime operation in a power plant.

  6. Investing in SMR Licensing: DOE began investing up to $452 million dollars over six years starting in FY 2012 to support first-of-a-kind engineering costs associated with certification and licensing activities for SMRs through the NRC. By utilizing cost-share agreements with private industry through a licensing technical support program, DOE supports the domestic development of these innovative nuclear technologies, thereby strengthening American manufacturing capabilities and the associated nuclear supply chain, improving domestic employment opportunities, and creating important export opportunities for the United States. It is expected that the first SMR design application will be submitted to the NRC in late-2016.

  7. Designing a Modernized LWR Control Room: DOE is partnering with Arizona Public Service's Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station to design a modernized control room for an operating commercial LWR. Working together through a cost-shared partnership, DOE's LWR Sustainability Program and Palo Verde will consider the best way to replace traditional analog systems with digital systems that optimize control room operations. This work supports the long-term sustainability and efficiency of the currently operating nuclear power plants by assisting nuclear utilities to address reliability and obsolescence issues of legacy analog control rooms.

Click here for the Press Release online.

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"Usage granted for Savannah River National Lab technology"
by Derrek Asberry

The Aiken Standard
October 25, 2015

An exclusive license to technology developed in the Savannah River National Lab was recently granted to SHINE Medical Technologies, a Wisconsin-based company founded to produce medical isotopes.

The lab, or SRNL, developed a patented hydrogen isotope separation process for use in medical isotope production. SHINE was granted the technology by Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, the SRS management and operating contractor for SRS and the lab.

The agreement gives SHINE the right to use the lab's thermal cycling absorption process in its manufacturing facility, according to the national lab.

The use of absorption process provides high-purity inputs that are needed for SHINE's patented technology. The technology enhances the production of medical isotopes, including molybdenum-99.

The isotope decays into technetium-99m, which is used in more than 40 million medical imaging procedures each year including stress tests that detect heart disease and in bone scans to determine the stage of cancer progression, the lab wrote.

SHINE will build its first medical isotope manufacturing facility in Janesville, Wisconsin. It will be able to produce enough molybdenum-99 every year to supply more than two-thirds of the U.S. patient population.

Dr. Terry Michalske, the director of SRNL, said SHINE's isotope manufacturing plant will be a game-changer and that the advancement is something the lab is happy to be a part of.

"We are extremely pleased to have the opportunity to contribute to solving the global problem of medical isotope shortages," Michalske said.

Greg Piefer, the CEO of SHINE, added, "Savannah River National Laboratory has put a tremendous amount of effort into developing and refining the thermal cycling absorption process technology and we're excited to take advantage of this proven, state-of-the-art technology in our facility."

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"Students apply STEM to jobs at Kroc Center"
by Derrek Asberry

The Aiken Standard
October 22, 2015

AUGUSTA - More than 230 high school students flocked to the Kroc Center in Augusta on Thursday to test robotic inventions and enter the world of virtual reality.

The annual Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, or STEM, Connections Day brought students from both sides of the river where local companies helped students learn more about job opportunities in the four related fields of study.

Activities were broken into various rooms including the auditorium where students could hear first-hand accounts of how STEM jobs have impacted the lives of successful career men and women.

Other rooms featured Science Jeopardy and other games, including a virtual reality station hosted by Aiken's Newport News Shipbuilding office. Employee Stefanie Warner said the program immerses users into an environment.

On a broader scale, it can be used in a number of professions, Warner said.

"It helps reduce risk and can be used for military training, for surgery before you operate on someone and other areas," she said.

Student Michael Mann said the program showed him the benefits of how testing relates to real-life scenarios.

"It's really amazing," Mann said. "By looking around and taking it all in today, it really gives you a sense of the opportunities that are available."

Classmates Ben Wright and Michal Pacholczyk visited the various booths at STEM Connections including the MOX booth where a glovebox display taught them how to conduct work while working with radioactive material.

"It was pretty hard at first, but we found a way to figure it out," Wright said. "It's really just problem-solving."

The annual event is hosted by the Savannah River Site Community Reuse Organization, or SRSCRO. Group member Mindy Mets said the goal is to help students see the lucrative, needed jobs in the area in various fields including engineering, technician work, computer analysis and welding.

"Our hope is that participants walk away with a better understanding of how to best prepare for the may types of STEM careers in our region," Mets said.

STEM Career Connections Day falls each year on National Nuclear Science Week, a national and international, broadly observed weeklong celebration to focus local, regional, national and international interest on all aspects of nuclear science.

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"Savannah River Site internship program opens doors for veterans"
by Wesley Brown

The Augusta Chronicle
October 1, 2015

Harry Zane used to brief senators and generals on some of the Army's most classified missions.

But when an e-mail appeared last fall in his student inbox at Augusta University about a new internship opportunity at Savannah River Site, he said he immediately started to doubt his abilities.

"I remember asking myself, 'Wow, can I really do this and go to college?'" said Zane, 50, who served in the Army as an active-duty soldier, reservist and National Guard member from 1983 to 2008. "I was not sure whether I would be able to handle the workload and fit the qualities they wanted."

Zane is one of seven interns that Savannah River Remediation has hired through its Veteran Cooperative Program, a new educational opportunity that provides qualifying veterans competitive part-time pay, marketable job experience and most of all, confidence, until they graduate from universities in Augusta and Aiken.

The program, which started last October, was initially designed to help veterans transition into full-time employment by having mentors guide their training and help them earn college credit toward their degrees at SRR, Savannah River Site's liquid-waste contractor.

Now, because the cooperative has received such high praise from local veterans, it has reached its ceiling and plans to grow on a corporate-wide level, said Scott Brown, a retired Army lieutenant colonel who serves as the program's manager.

Zane, who is studying to become a cybersecurity analyst at Augusta University and plans to graduate by December 2016, was among the first to enroll and said he joined at a pivotal turning point in his life.

Married for 13 years with stepchildren and grandchildren, he was returning to college at nearly twice the age of his classmates to build on the system communications skills he gained in the Army and the associate's degree he had previously earned in military intelligence.

"That was a tough decision," Zane said of starting fresh. "It was scary."

Zane said he spoke on the phone with Kim Hauer, one the cooperative's sponsors, who assured him of his qualifications and his chances of being hired.

"Within 30 days, I was working," said Zane, who works in SRR network administration through the cooperative program. "I had never heard of that."

Brandon Twite, a 27-year-old sophomore at University of South Carolina Aiken, said some of his classmates are still amazed that he has been able to land a paid internship so early in his college career.

In a way, Twite, who served in the Navy from 2006 to 2013, said he is shocked at being accepted into the program in mid-May to start working part-time at SRR in the Design Services Engineering group.

"Real world experience is such a hot commodity because it's expensive for a company to train someone on a paid internship," said Twite, who is studying mechanical engineering at USC Aiken and hopes to graduate in 2018. "This is a huge opportunity that SRR is investing in us."

Twite said from an early age, he knew he wanted to follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather and join the Navy after high school, but feared his options in the military would be narrowed because he is color blind.

"I remember entering the Navy recruiter's office one afternoon and looking at a 400-page binder of military job options," he said. "Those options narrowed to about six job opportunities open to me."

Twite became a linguist, translating the Persian language, Farsi, into English for the military. His training took him to the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, Calif., and then to Fort Gordon when it was completed.

After leaving the military, he decided to return to the classroom to continue challenging himself. Twite said through inspecting nitrogen vessels at SRR to ensure all pressure valve systems meet required specifications, he now has the confidence to go with the self-discipline he acquired in the Navy to open new doors in the corporate world.

"There are so many avenues you can jump into," he said. "There's a job out there that will just about suit anyone."

Franchesca De Rienzo, 31, said juggling her coursework with her work responsibilities has been difficult, but the skills she acquired while in the Air Force from 2002 to 2013 have helped eased the transition into an internship as an administrative assistant in SRR's Project Management Office.

During her 11 years in the military, De Rienzo said, she developed a keen sense for catching whether aircraft bodywork was current with the latest regulations. She said that skill transitions well into an industry most driven by regulatory compliance.

"It is nice to take the lessons I learned on the flight line with my own two hands and be able to put into practice at SRR, whether it is looking at regulations, drawings, schedules or estimates," said De Rienzo, who hopes to graduate from Augusta University in December with a degree in management.

De Rienzo urged veterans interested in the program not to be intimidated or feel that their job does not translate.

"Do not even worry about that piece of it because they'll find a fit for you," she said.

Zane agreed, adding this program knows how to make veterans feel valued.

"All the time, you hear lip service from different organizations about what they can do for veterans and you don't actually see any results," he said. "In this program, not only do you see the results, you are actually part of the progress. You are a tangible piece."

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"The Savannah River Site is making our world safer"
by Chuck Munns

The Aiken Standard
September 25, 2015

Criticism is sometimes pointed at Savannah River Site, saying nuclear material comes in and never leaves. The reality is quite different. Those who work at the Site, those companies with contracts at the Site and the federal/state management that directs the Site, together have made great progress. Nuclear materials are processed, Cold War facilities are cleaned up, and our national security is maintained. The Site is safer. Our region is safer. The world is safer.

Speaking of safety, the Site's employees take great pride in being safe. Each year, the Site is rated 10 times better than U.S. industries and is usually the safest Department of Energy plant in our country.

Savannah River Site does much more than "clean up." It is also an ongoing active production enterprise. For example, the tritium group ensures the strength of our national strategic deterrent and the viability of ultra-sensitive nuclear detectors. The nuclear materials group prevents radioactive material from proliferating to "bad guys" around the world and in the process helps Tennessee Valley Authority reactors produce electrical power. Our National Laboratory puts science to work with important discoveries in chemical separations, atmospheric modeling, bio-remediation, medical isotope delivery, energy efficiency, and much more.

All that notwithstanding, the rest of this article focuses on Savannah River Site "clean up" successes.

Nuclear materials arrive at the Site; they are processed, transformed for further use or disposal. Cold war facilities are being cleaned up. Materials are rendered stable, safe and secure. Much has been sent out of state to final repositories. The Department of Energy, state regulators, U.S. contractors, and some very smart employees, our neighbors, have made our region and the world a safer place, and they continue to do this. I for one, sleep better at night, and give them a great big thank you.

Chuck Munns is the chair of Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness, which seeks to improve public knowledge on the benefits and comparative risks of nuclear activities.

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"Aiken Tech Radiation Protection Technology Program Fills a Local Need"
The Edgefield Daily
August 18, 2015

AIKEN - The Savannah River Site (SRS) will have a projected need of more than 162 Radiological Control Inspectors by 2016 and a projected 192 Inspectors by 2017. These Radiological Control Inspectors (RCI) needs are often filled through Aiken Technical College's (ATC) Radiation Protection Technology program. This program will be called upon for future hires, as well, said Alice Doswell, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS) Sr. Vice President, Environmental, Stewardship, Safety and Health.

"The Radiation Protection Technology program at Aiken Technical College provides a qualified local workforce to fill essential jobs at SRS." Doswell said. "The nuclear industry is changing and anticipating a significant number of new hires as well as retirements in the coming years, which means this program will provide an excellent feeder system to replace these critical workers."

Since 2010, SRS has hired more than 40 ATC graduates into RCI positions, a number of them kick starting their careers at SRS during their last semester of the program by fulfilling a final internship requirement, an experience that gives the students a "real-world" opportunity to apply the theories learned in the classroom.

Josh Cash, a 2012 ATC graduate, said he finished the program with a firm knowledge of how to do the job that would be expected of him.

"The program set me up for success in the job market," said Cash, an RCI for SRNS. "Students get a high-quality education in two years in a field that has a high demand for employees."

The Radiation Protection Technology program is essential to current and future missions at SRS, as the projected need for RCIs continues to rise due to healthy attrition rates and future work scopes, said Mark Schmitz, Savannah River Remediation (SRR) Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Project Manager.

"Safety is of the utmost importance at the Savannah River Site," Schmitz said. "And Radiological Control Inspectors are a necessary part of safely executing our mission."

The two-year, 70-credit hour program leads to an Associate's degree program in applied science. The program supplements students' previous education by providing the opportunity to develop the skills necessary to evaluate a work site requiring radiological controls.

Students become certified RCIs after completing 180 application hours, through on-site internships, at a nuclear site. Other than SRS, internship site options include VC Summer near Jenkinsville, South Carolina, or Plant Vogtle in Waynesboro, Georgia.

Alandria Johnson - who just completed her internship at SRS this summer and will soon be a new hire - calls the Radiological Protection Technology program "the best two-year program around."

"Radiological Control technicians will always be needed, especially in this area," said Johnson, a Midland Valley native. "It's a growing field and has a good growth in salary. You really can find safety in a career at SRS - in terms of personal safety and job safety."

Aiken Tech has a high placement rate: During the 2012-13 school year, the latest year data is available, nearly 97 percent of graduates found employment in their field of study or chose to continue their education, said Nikasha Dicks, ATC's Marketing and Public Relations Manager.

"Of the 16 institutions in the South Carolina Technical College System, Aiken Technical College has the highest placement rate," Dicks said.

The fall semester begins Monday, August 17. Those interested in enrolling at ATC are encouraged to apply anytime during the year at; the application is free. To register for the program, contact Enrollment Services, (803) 508-7263.

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"How startups can save nuclear tech"
by Katie Fehrenbacher

July 6, 2015

A growing number of nuclear startups are trying to solve the world's most pressing problem.

A recent disturbing report predicts that despite a colossal number of new solar panels and wind turbines over the next quarter century, the planet will still face dangerous rising temperatures. Basically even if these widely embraced clean energy technologies are put on overdrive, we're still probably screwed.

The report was understandably bearish on big growth in nuclear power. Following the tragic earthquake and accompanying meltdown of the nuclear reactors in Fukushima, Japan in 2011, new nuclear reactor construction has been largely halted in many countries. Public fear over safety, especially following such incidents, has long hampered the industry, and led to it being the sort of black sheep of clean power.

But four years after the infamous accident, environmentalists, nuclear advocates, and researchers are now looking at nuclear tech as an almost necessary way to generate power without carbon emissions that, if used correctly, could be crucial to help the world avoid the worst of global warming. And unlike with solar and wind, nuclear reactors generate power around the clock.

Tapping into this emerging sentiment is a new wave of entrepreneurs and investors, many in Silicon Valley, who are passionate about how tech innovation can lift the industry out of its nuclear stalemate.

The new guard are working within a nuclear industry that is stuck in the regulatory and financing patterns of old. Big conglomerates dominate and career nuclear execs are the norm. But the lack of interest in new tech and new ideas are in sharp contrast to the high stakes of averting planetary catastrophe.

(... continued ...)

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"Booting MOX places too much in question"
The Aiken Standard
May 27, 2015

Steps by U.S. senators to back up and possibly punt on the Mixed Oxide, or MOX, fuel facility at Savannah River Site are both baffling and shortsighted.

A recent proposal moved forward by the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee includes a $5 million provision to study alternatives to the program, which only underscores this misguided approach.

A projected spike in the cost for MOX is certainly fueling this growing concern and search for different options, despite strong support for the program by lawmakers such as U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. He and others rightly recognize that it's difficult to take the latest cost projection performed by Aerospace Corporation as the cornerstone of any argument focused on stalling or stopping the program at the Site. The report puts the lifecycle cost of the project at $51 billion, an admittedly significant uptick from a cost estimation of $25 to $30 billion released last year by another independent analysis. However, as the defense bill indicates, while cost is a factor in considering disposition strategies, it is "important to note that the only option that meets the requirements outlined in the Plutonium Management and Disposition Act between the United States and Russia is the MOX facility. "

This pact, signed years ago, calls for the U.S. to transform domestic surplus weapons grade plutonium into commercial nuclear reactor fuel. All other alternatives would not only require that the U.S. renegotiate the agreement with Russia, but will likely also require statutory and regulatory changes that could cause additional delay, the bill indicates. Those delays could easily come with greater costs for any alternative to MOX.

The analysis conducted by Aerospace Corporation and partially released last month did note that a method of disposition known as down-blending could be significantly less expensive than MOX. However, should policy makers follow this path, only the initial steps are in place. The end game - where this material would be stored - essentially remains a mystery. While MOX remains controversial, it fulfills very distinct needs. It not only helps in non-proliferation, but it also means jobs for our region, which is vital for economic development.

Efforts to reset, or even worse, moth-ball, this program, could do significant harm not only in our state but internationally, as well. It's imperative that sustaining this mission of disposing of nuclear material involve an initiative with an actual end game.

At this time, that exists much more clearly for MOX, which is 65 percent complete, than any of the other options pitched by Department of Energy officials and federal lawmakers.

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"Diverse Set of Organizations Unite in Support of Existing Nuclear Energy Plants"
Press Release
Nuclear Matters
March 25, 2015

NEW YORK (MARCH 25, 2015) - Nuclear Matters announced today that 15 organizations have joined the campaign as Partners, coalescing in their support for existing nuclear energy plants and the need to ensure they are preserved. The diverse cross-section of voices includes environmental, consumer and academic groups, among others. They will work alongside Nuclear Matters' Leadership Council to raise awareness around the value of the existing nuclear fleet for their benefits in terms of reliability, carbon-free generation, and economic impact.

"In my role as co-chair of Nuclear Matters, I've heard first-hand from a range of organizations and individuals who are in strong support of our existing nuclear fleet," said former Senator Evan Bayh. "The fact that many of these organizations have joined Nuclear Matters as Partners is representative of the serious and growing desire that exists across the country to do everything we can to ensure that these plants are preserved."

"As an organization whose mission it is to apply practical environmental solutions to ensure a cleaner energy future, our partnership with Nuclear Matters is well-suited," said Norris McDonald, President of the African American Environmentalist Association. "Given that our existing nuclear energy fleet provides 63 percent of the nation's carbon-free energy, it plays a key role in helping to address environmental challenges, including meeting proposed rules laid out by the Environmental Protection Agency to reduce carbon emissions."

Below is a complete list of the organizations that have partnered with Nuclear Matters and will join the campaign in various events and initiatives across the country:

Click here to view the news release online and to access the Nuclear Matters website.

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"Nuclear group welcomes filmmaker at annual event"
Derrek Asberry
The Aiken Standard
October 21, 2014

Film director Robert Stone stood in front of hundreds at Monday's 23rd annual Edward Teller Lecture and posed the question, "Can you be both an environmentalist and pro-nuclear?"

Stone believes it is possible and said his documentary, "Pandora's Promise," is proof of that.

The documentary tells the story of several anti-nuclear activists who learned more about nuclear and eventually began supporting the energy source.

The film was highly publicized around the nation and in Aiken, which is why the Citizens of Nuclear Technology and Awareness, or CNTA, reached out to Stone to be the keynote at Monday's lecture.

"Energy demand is expected to double by the year 2060 and triple by the year 2100," Stone said. "So what type of energy are we going to use? That problem has brought many around to reconsidering the use of nuclear energy and realizing it is a clean energy source."

Stone said the documentary accomplished getting more people to come out of the closet about the nuclear field.

He added that many people think nuclear is a conservative interest and that liberals are not in favor of it. However, a list he displayed on his PowerPoint presentation showed that even the founder of a prominent environmentalist group is in favor of nuclear.

"It's important to get the facts out there," he said. "When you look at all of the options, nuclear energy is the cleanest, most responsible energy source for the future."

Stone's address is one part of National Nuclear Science Week, which is also being heavily celebrated in Aiken.

CNTA Chairman Chuck Munns said the week is a useful tool to educate students about the field.

"It's extremely important to support the nuclear industry," he said. "We've had a good summer nationally, as well as locally, with the increased visibility of the Savannah River Site. So we want to continue pushing for our industry and keep the ball rolling."

Derrek Asberry is the SRS beat reporter for the Aiken Standard and has been with the paper since June 2013.

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"Yucca Mountain suitable for waste storage"
Derrek Asberry
The Aiken Standard
October 18, 2014

Congressional and local leaders are applauding the release of a long-awaited report that deems Yucca Mountain a safe location for nuclear waste storage, which they believe could get the ball rolling in relocating waste stored at the Savannah River Site.

On Thursday, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission published Volume 3 of its safety evaluation report on the proposed underground geologic nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, a volcanic structure near the former Nevada Test Site, about 100 miles from Las Vegas.

The issue dates back to 1994 when the Department of Energy began drilling a 5-mile tunnel through Yucca Mountain. The federal government poured more than $10 billion into the project before funding was cut in 2010 because of a belief that the site was not suitable to house nuclear waste. The decision left several DOE sites holding unwanted waste, including SRS.

The NRC's report denounced that belief, stating that the Department of Energy's repository design meets the requirements and outlined objectives.

"These performance objectives include the requirement that the repository be composed of multiple barriers to isolate radioactivity from the environment," officials wrote in the report. "The staff also found the proposed repository design meets the NRC's limits or standards for individual protection, human intrusion and groundwater protection."

Locally, the SRS Citizens Advisory Board, among others, have shown strong support for the Yucca repository, stating it is the best option for permanent waste storage. Past chair Don Bridges said the movement on the issue is a sign of good news.

"I think the report will see major support in Aiken County and the citizens of South Carolina at large," Bridges said. "We've always understood that SRS is not a permanent location for the waste and even though it is stored safely here, there's always been an understanding that it's not meant to stay long-term."

U.S. Sens. Tim Scott, R-S.C., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., also praised the report and denounced President Barack Obama's original decision to cut funding.

"Despite politically motivated delays to the Yucca Mountain project, it is clearer than ever that this is the safest, most viable location for storing our nation's nuclear waste," Scott wrote in a statement.

Graham added that the report validates the original Yucca Mountain proposal and that he is hopeful Republicans will regain control of the Senate so the issue can be pushed to a vote.

"Every utility involved in the process has put in billions of dollars into Yucca so we should either use it or give the money back to the rate payers," he said. "Also, it would allow us to move that defense waste at SRS which was part of the original plan anyway."

Derrek Asberry is the SRS beat reporter for the Aiken Standard and has been with the paper since June 2013.

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"Nonprofit of the Week: Education is the goal for Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness"
Dede Biles
The Aiken Standard
September 11, 2014

Clint Wolfe has been the executive director for the Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness since 2008. The Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness, also known as CNTA, got its start in 1991.

"At the time, a group of people from the Savannah River Site and the community felt like there needed to be more factual information made available to the public because issues surrounding the Site were being sensationalized," said Clint Wolfe, CNTA's executive director.

Today, many of the organization's efforts are designed to educate laymen about the real benefits and comparative risks of the nuclear industry in a variety of areas, including production of electricity, medicine, food irradiation, production of weapons and waste management.

"There is an awful lot made of risk, with regard to radiation, that is just nonsense; but it can be scary," said Wolfe, who worked at the Savannah River Site from 1988 to 2005. "The point, for us, isn't to pooh-pooh people's concerns. It's to provide some instruction on what is safe and what is not using people who really know what they are talking about."

Wolfe believes that one of CNTA's most effective programs is a workshop for schoolteachers called "Bringing Nuclear Into the Classroom."

Developed by CNTA and the local section of the American Nuclear Society (ANS-Savannah River), the workshop is presented several times each year.

Since 1979, when the first workshop was offered, more than 300 teachers have participated in the program.

"It's heavily weighted toward middle-school and high-school teachers," Wolfe said.

During the workshop, teachers participate in hands-on activities while learning about atomic and nuclear fundamentals, power generation, nuclear technology uses and other topics.

"The people who are giving the teachers the information are not just people who learned about it from a book, they've lived it," Wolfe said. "Some people look at it and say that what we're really doing is providing propaganda.

But what we're trying to do is provide facts about nuclear energy and the Site so that people can tell what propaganda is."

CNTA, which has approximately 400 members, also has monthly Up and Atom Breakfasts that feature speakers with nuclear expertise. In addition, the organization brings in a nationally known speaker for its annual Edward Teller Lecture.

"The one thing we need to get better at is communicating using social media," Wolfe said. "Social media is really great for a whole bunch of things, but it's very difficult to talk about nuclear technology on social media. We know there is a role somewhere, and we've got to find a way to make good use of it."

For more information about CNTA, call 803-649-3456 or visit

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"We simply need Yucca: Abandon partisanship that's keeping nuclear waste facility closed"
The Editorial Staff
The Augusta Chronicle
October 27, 2013

Add Marvin Fertel's name to the long list of people who support the Yucca Mountain project to store the nation's nuclear waste.

Fertel, the president of the Nuclear Energy Institute, spoke at the Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness' Edward Teller Lecture and Banquet in Aiken, S.C., last week.

"The country has already spent about $10 billion on Yucca, and we believe it could still be an ideal setting for waste," Fertel said.

More than $10 billion, actually. But he's right in assessing Yucca's ideal circumstances for waste storage.

And if the government doesn't move in earnest to establish Yucca as a permanent site, we'll keep seeing nuclear waste temporarily stored all over the country - including at the CSRA's own Savannah River Site.

A bit of background: Congress approved Yucca Mountain as a nuclear waste repository way back in 2002. But in 2011, the Obama administration abruptly cut funding for the project - in a wrong decision that nearly everyone from the Government Accountability Office on down has described as purely political, without any grounding in safety or science. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission suspended licensing activities for Yucca that same year.

After two years of wrangling in the courts, it finally took a writ of mandamus to spur some forward motion on the issue. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ordered the NRC in August to renew its review of the Department of Energy's application to establish a repository at Yucca.

"While hard-working taxpayers have already invested $15 billion into the development of the Yucca Mountain Site in Nevada, this administration has continuously blocked efforts to move forward, simply because of a difference in political opinion," U.S. Rep. Paul Broun Jr. said shortly after the ruling. "This instance of waste and delay is just another illustration of our out-of-control government, and it has got to stop."

Broun and others from Georgia and South Carolina were among 81 members of the U.S. House of Representatives to urge NRC Chairwoman Allison Macfarlane just last month to complete safety evaluation reports for Yucca, and use $11.1 million in its carryover waste funds to do it.

"It is our firm belief that completion of the (safety evaluation report) will settle the debate and provide scientific data confirming what we have known for many years - that Yucca Mountain is a safe location for a permanent repository," the lawmakers said in their letter dated Sept. 27.

They can put that completed safety report on top of another mountain - the titanic summit of data that already proves the suitability of Yucca as a waste storage site. The title of one 2006 white paper conducted on Yucca even reflects how often it's been examined: "Yucca Mountain: The Most Studied Real Estate on the Planet."

That study supported all the other studies that gave the thumbs-up to Yucca. It also stressed the national security imperative of establishing a single, permanent repository for nuclear waste in the United States.

How safe would Yucca be? The Environmental Protection Agency once said waste stored at the proposed reinforced facility would give off public doses of radiation of just one millirem a year - for a million years. As a point of reference, average U.S. exposure to natural sources of radiation is estimated at 300 millirems a year.

As is stands now, however, nuclear waste is stored at more than 100 sites at nuclear facilities around the country. By one estimate, about 160 million Americans live within 75 miles of temporarily stored nuclear waste.

If our nation expects to be a responsible steward of nuclear power in a quest to become energy-independent, we simply need Yucca. Now.

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"Support for Yucca Mountain project voiced at nuclear lecture"
Rob Novit
Beat Reporter
The Aiken Standard
October 22, 2013

Marvin Fertel, president of the Nuclear Energy Institute, voiced his support of the Yucca Mountain project at Monday's Edward Teller Lecture and Banquet.

In August, the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the licensing process must continue for the proposed Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository.

"The country has already spent about $10 billion on Yucca, and we believe it could still be an ideal setting for waste," Fertel said at Monday's banquet. "Maybe the site for waste will be Yucca, and maybe it won't; but either way, we need contingencies."

Sponsored by the Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness, the annual lecture came in honor of National Nuclear Science Week.

Fertel also used the opportunity to discuss the energy institute's views on the nation's nuclear scope.

"From a local standpoint, nuclear has to play a significant role," he said. "I think we have the best program in the world and as far as operating excellence, I think America sets the standard.

In addition to the lecture, the banquet also honored several individuals for their work in the industry.

Dr. David Hobbs of the Savannah River Nuclear Laboratory was honored with the Fred C. Davison Distinguished Scientist Award. The annual award recognizes scientists who have shown outstanding work in the field.

"During my career at SRS, I've seen a lot of changes," Hobbs said during his acceptance speech. "CNTA plays a vital role in supporting SRS missions and, through both, I have learned a lot."

CNTA also awarded Robert Picardi, a Furman University graduate, with the Maher Memorial Scholarship for $5,000. Picardi was awarded the scholarship for his research on the nuclear industry and his keen interests on the subject.

Finally, local high school students were awarded $1,000 apiece for winning an essay contest. The students are Jennifer Herbert, Golda Nguyen, Brian Reichel and Rahul Shah.

U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C, was also in attendance and voiced his support of the nuclear industry.

"It was uplifting for me, and I've always understood how important SRS is to this community," Wilson said. "I really see a bright future for our nuclear industry, and I'm encouraged by SRS's missions."

National Nuclear Science Week will continue locally with various programs for college and high school students including tours of SRS and Plant Vogtle.

Derrek Asberry is a beat reporter with the Aiken Standard news team and joined the paper in June. He is originally from Vidalia, Ga., and graduated from Georgia Southern University with a journalism degree in May 2012.

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"Teacher workshop explores nuclear energy"
Rob Novit
Senior Writer
The Aiken Standard
October 19, 2013

During a workshop related to nuclear energy, these teachers react to the unexpected results of an experiment. Pictured, clockwise, from left front, are Rachelle Mason, South Aiken High School; Suzanne Gunn, Mossy Creek Elementary School; Kayla Carter, Denmark-Olar High School; B.R. Smith, North Augusta Middle School; and Jennifer Dusenbury, South Aiken.

The teams of teachers leaned over tables at the Ruth Patrick Science Education Center on Friday to play an intense game of marbles.

No shooters here: The K-12 teachers substituted marbles for alpha particles to informally replicate Ernest Rutherford's historic gold foil experiment, which led to the scientist's discovery of the nucleus of the atom more than a century ago.

The Ruth Patrick Center hosted the teachers' workshop, sponsored primarily by Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness.

The event kicked off the National Nuclear Science Week, a program coordinated through Savannah River Site Community Reuse Organization.

"Our goal is to talk about the facts of nuclear energy," said Chuck Munns, a retired admiral and CNTA member who led the submarine nuclear force. "This is about how it works in practical applications. We'll talk about jobs in the nuclear energy field, and, in the end, more of your students will want to know that."

Aiken resident Doug Edwards is the senior learning and development manager for U.S. Nuclear Construction Projects at CB&I. The simplified version of the gold foil experiment helps answer the concept of doing experiments when one doesn't know the answer, he said.

Rutherford had expected that alpha particles should have gone through foil, only to find some were deflected. Edwards and other engineers placed a block of wood over a smaller piece that could not be seen. The teachers fired the marbles under the larger blocks and documented the directions the marbles rebounded.

"We were satisfied there was a trapezoid there, but it was a circle," said South Aiken High School math teacher Rachelle Mason and added with an amused smile, "We're all so smart."

Other events aimed at students are scheduled with Nuclear Science Week.

More than 100 Scouts will visit Aiken Technical College today to learn about various energy-related topics. They will return to the campus on Monday at 6:30 p.m., where they will meet Simona de Silvestro, an Indy Car driver, and a promotional Nuclear Clean Air Energy race car.

A total of 180 South Aiken High School students will visit the Ruth Patrick Center over Tuesday and Wednesday for a series of activities. A webinar of the program will be available nationally.

At the teachers' workshop, Cathy Burbury expressed excitement that her East Aiken School of the Arts second-graders would enjoy the activities she was learning on Friday.

"We can put out ideas of where we are with fossil fuels and what that does to the environment," Burbury said. "It's amazing what second-graders can understand. My job is how to use this information."

Senior writer Rob Novit is the Aiken Standard's education reporter and has been with the newspaper since September 2001. He is a native of Walterboro and majored in journalism at the University of Georgia.

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"Project manager: Japan still needs help cleaning up Fukishima plant"
Anna Dolianitis
Staff Writer
The Aiken Standard
April 20, 2012

Cleanup and recovery at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami is continuing but facing challenges, a nuclear professional aiding in the recovery said Thursday.

Bill Franz, project manager at Babcock-Wilcox International Technical Services and a 38-year veteran of the nuclear industry, was the speaker at Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness' Up & Atom breakfast, addressing the contributions his team has made, as well as further steps the United States can take to help.

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"SRNS president talks SRS future"
Anna Dolianitis
Staff Writer
The Aiken Standard
March 20, 2012

The Savannah River Site is uniquely positioned to manage all of the nation's nuclear security, environmental and technological challenges, said Savannah River Nuclear Solutions President and CEO Dwayne Wilson during a speech Wednesday.

Wilson, the guest speaker at Wednesday's Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness Up & Atom breakfast at Newberry Hall, said that the nation and the world are facing complex challenges in ensuring supplies of clean energy to meet the demand, transporting and safeguarding nuclear materials and preventing the threat of terrorism.

"The Savannah River Site is the only place in the (Department of Energy) complex that can address and manage all of these challenges," Wilson said. "We are demonstrating nuclear knowledge for the nation on a daily basis."

Though the focus of the Site is heavily on cleanup and footprint reduction - of which 85 percent is expected to be completed by September - new missions for the site are being identified to continue SRS' viability in the future.

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"Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness celebrates 20 years"
Anna Dolianitis
Staff Writer
The Aiken Standard
November 10, 2011

A group of individuals with a background and interest in nuclear energy came together in 1991 with the goal of educating the Aiken community about the uses and benefits of nuclear power.

On Wednesday, more than 100 members of Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness gathered at Newberry Hall to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the organization, and to recognize that there is still work to be done.

CNTA Executive Director Clint Wolfe shared with the crowd a quote that he often repeats in speeches, "Men go mad in herds. They recover their senses only slowly and one by one."

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"SRS's H-Canyon will provide fuel for MOX facility"
Anna Dolianitis
Staff Writer
The Aiken Standard
November 1, 2011

Several months after the Savannah River Site's H-Canyon facility was ordered into minimum activity and minimum staffing status by year's end, the National Nuclear Security Administration announced Monday that H-Canyon will provide plutonium oxide feed for the MOX Fuel Fabrication Facility being constructed on-site.

Through the canyon's new mission, which the NNSA's Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation will fund at $20.5 million per year in operating costs, approximately 90 jobs that may have been eliminated will be saved.

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"SRS can lead way to clean energy"
Hon. Joe Wilson
U.S. House of Representatives
Column in The Aiken Standard
October 13, 2011

Did you know over half of South Carolina's electricity is generated by nuclear power? The Palmetto State is currently home to four nuclear power plants, with plans for two new nuclear reactors to come online by 2016. These would be among the first nuclear facilities constructed in the United States in more than 30 years and illustrates how our state and its workforce are frontrunners in the nuclear industry. ...

I applaud Dr. David Moody, the Department of Energy Site Manager for the Savannah River Site (SRS), Garry Flowers, former President of Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, and Dr. Terry Michalske, Director of Savannah River National Laboratory, for recognizing the potential of SRS to serve as the proving ground for prototype Small Modular Reactors and the next generation nuclear fuel Technology. ...

U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson represents South Carolina's 2nd Congressional District which includes part of Aiken County.

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"CNTA teacher workshop focuses on nuclear industry"
Rob Novit
Senior writer
The Aiken Standard
June 28, 2011

A workshop, "Bringing Nuclear into the Classroom," attracted a number of Aiken County teachers and other educators Monday, among them was Margaret Fussell from Aiken Middle School

"I just wanted to learn more about the nuclear industry, as it's so big around here," she said. "There are things I can take back to class to educate our students, not only about nuclear energy, but about the policies behind it and the careers that go with it." ...

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"CNTA exec: Nuclear industry safer than desk work"
Anna Dolianitis
Staff writer
Article in The Aiken Standard
8 April, 2011

Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness Executive Director Clint Wolfe enlisted the help of musician Stevie Wonder Thursday morning to explain the basics of nuclear energy to the ladies of the Town & Country Club. "Many myths and misconceptions related to nuclear energy exist," Wolfe said, as Wonder's voice sang the words "When you believe in things that you don't understand, then you suffer ... superstition ain't the way."

"We've got to dissociate nuclear weaponry from nuclear energy," Wolfe said. "They are not the same, and they do not deserve to carry each others' baggage." "Many believe that nuclear power plants are a significant source of Americans' yearly exposure," Wolfe said, though the exposure from nuclear power plants is about .005 percent of the average American's annual radiation exposure - comparable to the amount of radiation received from eating one banana per year.

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"DOE manager has high hopes for SRS"
Anna Dolianitis
Staff writer
Article in The Aiken Standard
February 5, 2011

The Department of Energy's Savannah River Site manager Dr. Dave Moody briefed local companies and members of community organizations on the future of SRS at the Chamber of Commerce's "First Friday Means Business" breakfast.

"If we don't look toward the future and accept the fact that we are a cleanup site and concentrate just on the cleanup, then where will we be by 2015? We will reduce probably down from 13,000 to 8,000 or 9,000 (employees). I don't believe that's the right thing for this region. I don't believe that's the right thing for this country," said Moody.

Moody said the site is researching technology to position the U.S. to reprocess used nuclear fuel at H Canyon and is using wood-burning rather than coal to generate steam. He added that in the future, small modular reactor technology is expected to generate all of the energy that the site needs.

Another hope that Moody has for SRS' future is to use unique separations chemistry expertise at the Savannah River National Laboratory to develop new medical radioisotope procedures - an area in which Moody said the nation has fallen behind the rest of the world - so the U.S can stop importing materials needed in hospitals.

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"State of the Union positive for SRNL, nuclear community"
Anna Dolianitis
Staff writer
Article in The Aiken Standard
January 26, 2011

Dr. Susan Wood, chair of the board of directors for Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness, said that CNTA is extremely pleased to hear the president articulate support of clean energy, which is very important to the community.

"We applaud his statement. I think it's the first or one of the first clear statements of support from President Obama," Wood said. "It is clear that the country needs top invest in science and technology that are related to energy production and energy distribution and anything that can help save the use of energy, so our expectation would be that this would open up opportunities in nuclear technology development."

Wood said she does not believe that Obama's goal of achieving 80 percent of the nation's energy from clean-energy sources - not using oil, gas, or coal - by 2035 is feasible, and that the shift will take more than 24 more years.

However, she said, the support will hopefully lead to assistance for initiatives like research and development of technology at the Savannah River National Laboratory as well as the proposed energy complex at the Savannah River site.

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"A community of answers"
J. David Jameson
Chairman, SRS Community Reuse Organization
President and CEO, Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce
Guest Editorial in The Augusta Chronicle
January 7, 2011

When retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Brent Scowcroft boards his flight later today after a two-day visit to the CSRA, he and his colleagues on President Obama's Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future will leave with a clear message: Savannah River Site and this community are ready to be part of the solution to America's nuclear waste disposal challenge.

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"SRS should be U.S.'s primary nuclear site"
The Aiken Standard
January 6, 2011

For more than half a century the Savannah River Site has been a leader in the nuclear industry. Its people have been instrumental in achieving success in nearly every task they have been asked to tackle - from the creation of materials for nuclear defense uses to the safe disposition of waste from those processes.

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