Apprentices join SRS’s liquid waste program

January 18, 2024, 9:30AMRadwaste Solutions
New apprentices are welcomed at Savannah River site to take part in a production operator program. (Photo: SRMC)

The largest group of apprentices have started a journey to become production operators for the Savannah River Site’s liquid waste contractor.

The contractor, Savannah River Mission Completion (SRMC), welcomed nearly 60 new participants to its Production Operator Apprenticeship Program this month. This cohort is the third and largest group of students to be enrolled in the apprenticeship program. As part of the program, the group will attend Aiken Technical College part-time while enrolled in the school’s Nuclear Fundamentals Certificate program.

The job: For the next six months, the students will receive classroom instruction on topics needed to prepare them for an entry-level position specifically for a job with SRMC at SRS.

Apprentices will learn the basic qualifications of a production operator, including conduct of operations principles, radiological worker training and qualification, and how to operate and monitor facility equipment. While enrolled in the program, the students also start on-the-job training as part of the process of becoming qualified production operators.

According to SRMC, production operators fill critical jobs needed to safely conduct radioactive waste processing at SRS liquid waste facilities, such as the Defense Waste Processing Facility, Salt Waste Processing Facility, End Stream Delivery facilities, and the Liquid Waste Tank Farms. Operators ensure facility equipment is safely functioning, conduct material transfers, and perform data analysis, among other tasks.

He said it: “Our apprentices reap the benefits that this program provides in the way of effectively blending the significance of higher education with on-the-job training,” said Dave Olson, SRMC president and program manager. “Production operators play a key role in the safe and efficient operations of our nuclear facilities and will be a tremendous asset as we continue our mission to safely reduce the risk to the community and the environment of radioactive liquid waste stored at SRS.”

The contractor: SRMC comprises parent company BWX Technologies, Inc. with partners Amentum and Fluor.

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