Student interns accept full-service roles at Savannah River

August 1, 2023, 12:05PMNuclear News
SRNS Internship Program students sign and accept their full-time position offers at the Savannah River Site as SRNS executives, managers, and mentors look on (Photo: SRNS)

Dozens of students from the Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS) Internship Program were recently offered a chance at full-service positions during what SRNS called a signing day event held at the Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site, near Aiken, S.C.

“By offering full-time positions to nearly 50 students today, we are closing major gaps and positively impacting our future workforce,” said Bryan Ortner, manager of SRNS talent acquisition and analytics. “From day one, these interns were fully engaged, brought fresh energy, and shared new viewpoints that we are excited to see in a full-service capacity.”

SRNS is responsible for the management and operations of the Savannah River Site.

Program notes: This year, 180 students were accepted into the internship program, compared with 117 students last year. The program creates opportunities for students to sample a range of potential careers—including engineering, computer science, safety, business services, and information technology—getting a glimpse into life at Savannah River and finding a vocation that best suits their needs.

Hunter Holden, who was offered an associate engineering job with SRNS, recommended the program to students looking to gain industry knowledge and opportunities to network with SRNS executives.

“From running tests in H Canyon to learning how to operate control systems, this experience was so impactful for my career,” said Holden, a student from the Georgia Institute of Technology. “It feels amazing to say that I have received a job offer from the hard work and dedication I’ve put into my studies and this internship program.”

Intern Kylie Bridgmon, who will transition to a full-service position in December, noted, “The unique experiences and personal growth that happens throughout this program, you won’t be able to find anywhere else. The benefits, compensation, mentors, and positive work culture of the site made the choice to accept the job offer a no-brainer.”

More opportunities: The internship program aims to strengthen the workforce pipeline. Toward that end, SRNS also offers 20 registered apprenticeship occupations for students looking for full-service positions.

Ortner called the programs “a huge win for SRNS.” He added, “We are always looking for new ways to advance these programs to attract early-career talent and continue to be the industry leader in nuclear deterrence and national safety. These new hires will bring a new set of skills and potential that will benefit our missions for years to come.”

About the site: The Savannah River Site was constructed during the early 1950s to produce the basic materials used in the fabrication of national defense materials, primarily tritium and plutonium-239. Five reactors were built to produce these materials. Also built were a number of support facilities, including two chemical separations plants, a heavy water extraction plant, a nuclear fuel and target fabrication facility, a tritium extraction facility, and waste management facilities.

According to the DOE, the site’s mission today is safe and efficient operations to protect public health and the environment while supporting the nation’s nuclear deterrent and the site’s transformation for future use.

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