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Aiken, SC 29803-4318
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Southeastern Summer Nuclear Institute

Southeastern Summer Nuclear Institute

June 15 - June 17, 2016


Twenty-nine teachers and guidance counselors saw nuclear technology in action during the Southeastern Summer Nuclear Institute, held June 15-17. They came from as far away as Acworth GA and Greenville SC to spend three days out of their summer vacations to learn more about nuclear energy and technology. And SSNI was just the ticket.

The institute included a tour of the Plant Vogtle nuclear energy facility in Burke County, including control room visits, simulator exercises, and meetings with nuclear power reactor personnel. The participants were most impressed with the modernized control room that will be used to operate the two new reactors that are currently under construction and the enhanced safety features that are included in the reactor design.

The institute also included a tour of Savannah River Site near Aiken SC, including radioactive waste management facilities and the broad of range of research and development activities conducted by the Savannah River National Laboratory. The teachers were impressed with the complex facilities and equipment used to prepare the high-level waste currently stored in large underground waste tanks for safe disposal at SRS and ultimately in a federal repository.

SSNI included a visit to Augusta University for an overview of nuclear medicine facilities and procedures.

In each session, career opportunities were discussed, and the need for a strong background in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) was emphasized. Evening sections allowed teachers to share their experiences in motivating students to higher levels of achievement.

The evening programs included a panel discussion of local educational opportunities, led by Mindy Mets, Nuclear Workforce Initiative program manager for the Savannah River Site Community Reuse Organization, and a challenging presentation by Capt. Kevin Byrne, commanding officer of the Naval Nuclear Power Training Command at the Navy Nuclear Power School.

The institute included a series of workshop sessions over the three days to emphasize atomic and nuclear fundamentals; power generation fundamentals; nuclear technology applications; risk (real vs. perceived); and nuclear workforce opportunities, with hands-on activities to illustrate important technical concepts and scientific principles. Lodging (if needed) and meals were provided at the University of South Carolina Aiken along with free educational resources and teacher guides for classroom presentations. Each participant received two $25 gift cards to help cover travel expenses.

2016 Vogtle group


Educators frame the cooling towers at Plant Vogtle, in Burke County, Georgia.

2016 Vogtle CR


Learning about the Control Room at Plant Vogtle.

2016 Careers


Panel discussion of career opportunities at dinner at the University of South Carolina, Aiken.

2016 DWPF


Touring the Defense Waste Processing Facility at the Savannah River Site.

2016 NNPTC


Captain Kevin Byrne, Commanding Officer, introduces the Naval Nuclear Power Training Command, located in Goose Creek, South Carolina.

2016 Interactive Chart


Engineering the atom by constructing the Interactive Chart of the Nuclides.

SSNI 2016 Was Sponsored by:

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