James Clyburn

The 2009 CNTA Edward Teller Lecture and Banquet

CNTA's 18th Annual Edward Teller Lecture/Banquet proceeded on November 12 at the Doubletree Hotel and Convention Center in Augusta GA. Please click on the link below for pre-event information.

      2009 Pre-Event Flyer

      2009 Photo Gallery

Our Guest Speaker this year was Congressman James E. Clyburn of South Carolina's 6th district. He is the highest ranking congressman ever from the state of South Carolina (Majority Whip) and only the second African American to ever serve in that role. He has joined his colleagues from South Carolina on both sides of the political aisle to help make South Carolina a nuclear friendly state and the likely hub of the nuclear renaissance.

Policy decisions made in Washington DC will in large measure dictate the pace of the nuclear resurgence in the U.S. Therefore, Congressman Clyburn's appearance in this forum was particularly timely. He related his experiences in influencing other legislators in gaining favorable treatment for nuclear issues in evolving energy legislation. A strong supporter of the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility project, Mr. Clyburn challenged the U.S. to take the suspension of the project for the Yucca Mountain high-level-waste repository as an opportunity to develop the recycling of used fuel as a method to minimize the impacts of managing nuclear waste.

A transcript of Jim's speech is posted here: James E. Clyburn: 2009 CNTA Teller Lecture.

The audience included community leaders and elected officials as well as nuclear professionals. The event was held November 12, 2009 in Augusta GA to a full house. Other highlights of the Teller Lecture and Dinner included the presentation of the 2009 Fred C. Davison Distinguished Scientist Award and the 2009 Robert Maher Memorial Scholarship. For 2009, we are honored to present the Davison Award to Dr. Al Garrett and the Maher Scholarship to Mr. Rea Cauthen.

There are several nuclear projects in the region including Plant Vogtle (Georgia Power), V.C Summer (SCE&G), the William States Lee (Duke Power) site in Gaffney SC, and the multibillion dollar MOX plant (Shaw AREVA MOX Services, LLC) currently under construction in Aiken at the Savannah River Site (SRS).

It took a long road and 66 years for Clyburn to fulfill his dreams of participating fully in government and politics. Humble beginnings as the son of an activist fundamentalist minister and an independent, civic-minded beautician in the segregated South grounded him securely in family, faith, and public service. He graduated from Mather Academy in Camden SC and became a student leader at South Carolina State College (now University) in Orangeburg. Growing up knowing many of the families involved in the desegregation case Briggs v. Elliott - which later became part of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case - Clyburn was active in the civil rights movement. He was elected president of his NAACP youth chapter when he was 12 years old and participated in many public activities.

Jim served 18 years as South Carolina Human Affairs Commissioner, under four governors (two Democrats and two Republicans). He left that job to post a strong win in his run for Congress in 1992. In Congress, he was elected co-President of his freshman class. Six years later, he was unanimously elected Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and won a coveted seat on the Appropriations Committee. In 2002 he was elected Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus and, in January 2006, his peers unanimously elevated him to Chair of the Caucus.

In addition to serving as House Majority Whip, Congressman Clyburn serves as leader of the House Democrat's Faith Working Group. Seventeen colleges and universities have awarded Jim honorary degrees.

Jim and wife Emily have been married since 1961. The Clyburns have three daughters and two grandchildren.

We would like to take the opportunity to thank all of our many sponsors, our CNTA membership, and supporters of the 2009 lecture.

Return to Main Teller Lecture Page

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