Wayne Newhauser: A study on the professional radiation workforce

February 9, 2024, 1:11PMNuclear News


Wayne Newhauser is a professor and the Charles M. Smith Chair of Medical Physics at Louisiana State University. Newhauser and Georgia Tech’s Shaheen Dewji—both longtime American Nuclear Society members—worked on a multiyear study that looked at workforce issues for six of the most important radiation professions.

An article authored by Newhauser and Dewji that looks in-depth at the study will be published at a later date in Nuclear News.

Newhauser sat down with NN editor-in-chief Rick Michal to talk about the study and its findings, published last year in the Journal of Applied Clinical Medical Physics.

Savannah River Site offers select interns a career fast track

January 3, 2024, 3:00PMNuclear News
While interning at SRS, Texas Tech senior Jinju Philip spent time in the quality assurance program inside the Defense Waste Processing Facility. He now works part time in the Technical Student Program as a system engineer for the site’s tank closure effort. (Photo: SRMC)

The Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management’s liquid waste contractor at the Savannah River Site is giving nine college students the opportunity to jump-start their careers this year through a hybrid work program that allows them to finish their engineering or computer science studies while also interning at SRS.

UCOR working to fill Oak Ridge’s cleanup worker pipeline

December 15, 2023, 9:50AMRadwaste Solutions
UCOR’s Ken Rueter speaks to University of Tennessee students during an engineering colloquium series. (Photo: DOE)

A significant percentage of the workforce at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Reservation in Tennessee is eligible to retire in the next decade, according to the agency. In an effort to address the potential for a staffing shortage, UCOR, the DOE’s Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management contractor for cleanup activities at the site, is building a consortium with colleges and universities in the region. The collaboration aims to guide more students toward nuclear-applicable careers to build the next generation of workers for Oak Ridge and the nuclear industry at large.

Contractors share Paducah job opportunities with students

November 21, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News
Data analyst Emily Coriell (right) demonstrates a pipe crawling robot at the career opportunities event. (Photo: DOE)

Contractors at the Department of Energy’s Paducah Site teamed up recently to highlight career opportunities available at the site during the Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce WKY (West Kentucky) Launch Experience.

Technical college introduces nuclear apprenticeship program

November 6, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News
SRMC’s Dave Olson makes opening remarks to the new class of nuclear operator apprentices and faculty members at Denmark Technical College. (Photo: SRMC)

Eight new hires from Savannah River Mission Completion (SRMC) are taking part in the new Liquid Waste Nuclear Operator apprenticeship class at Denmark Technical College in Denmark, S.C. The goal of the class is to prepare SRMC’s new employees for positions at the Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site, in South Carolina.

NN Asks: What defines an effective plant maintenance training program?

October 30, 2023, 3:00PMNuclear News

Doug Barber

Xcel Energy was the first utility to commit to carbon-free operations by 2050, with an 80 percent reduction by 2030. To achieve this important goal, we recognized that we would have to think and act in innovative ways. This mindset is highlighted in our approach to plant maintenance. In 2019, Xcel created a unique unified learning organization. This approach has leveraged nuclear and nonnuclear expertise and training resources to improve craft skills, address long-term equipment reliability vulnerabilities, implement strategic initiatives, and improve sharing of resources—all of which has improved plant performance.

Xcel Energy’s unique approach has been proven successful in back-to-back Institute of Nuclear Power Operations Maintenance and Technical Training renewals at each of its plants with strengths directly attributed to our unified enterprise and nuclear learning approach, which ensures a focus on nuclear excellence, technician effectiveness, and business efficiency.

UCOR partners with college to fill cleanup roles

October 25, 2023, 7:00AMNuclear News
UCOR chemical operator apprentices (seated) take instruction at the Liquid and Gaseous Waste Operations at ORNL. (Photo: DOE)

The Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management cleanup contractor UCOR has increased its ability to recruit employees through a recent partnership with Tennessee’s Roane State Community College.

Training program focuses on supply chain

October 24, 2023, 9:30AMANS Nuclear Cafe
The 2023 SRNS SCM apprentices and interns pose with SRNS president and chief executive officer Dennis Carr (on the far right). Front row, from left: Nicholas Diacetis, Ekaterina Lyamtseva, Rachel Boyd, Brandy Edwards, Morgan Wise, Taylor Davis. Back row, from left: Jonathan Forde, Roy Niblett, Blake Elam, Kale Arrington, Derek Amick, and William Lawson.

So far this year, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions Supply Chain Management (SCM) apprenticeship program has transitioned 12 new graduates to its team. According to SRNS, the apprentices and interns were attracted to the training program through new recruiting connections that SRNS has established with universities and colleges in the Aiken, S.C., area. The SCM program, which is designed to transition participants into full-time positions at the Savannah River Site, has recently increased internal incentives.

NNSA looks to strengthen workforce through partnership program

October 10, 2023, 7:02AMNuclear News

Through its Minority Serving Institution Partnership Program (MSIPP) and Tribal Education Partnership Program (TEPP), the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration has awarded five grants totaling $2.5 million to minority-serving institutions (MSIs) and tribal colleges and universities (TCUs).

U.K. civil nuclear workforce is growing

September 25, 2023, 11:54AMANS Nuclear Cafe

The present size of the civil nuclear workforce in the United Kingdom is the largest it has been in the past 20 years. So reports the Nuclear Industry Association (NIA), the main trade association for the U.K. civil nuclear industry, in its recently released Jobs Map 2023. The London-based organization has released this report annually for more than a decade with the objective of giving the government the most up-to-date, accurate statistics on which to base economic and energy decisions. The NIA reports that the latest job growth has been fueled partly by projects on advanced and emerging nuclear technologies.

NN Asks: How are universities approaching nuclear workforce issues?

August 29, 2023, 7:01AMNuclear NewsJohn Mobley IV

John Mobley IV

With the release of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pathways to Commercial Liftoff: Advanced Nuclear report this past March, there have been considerable discussions as to the multifaceted roles and responsibilities of universities in this epoch of renewed interest in nuclear energy. In particular, the imperative of securing an estimated 375,000 additional individuals for the construction and operation of 200 gigawatts of advanced nuclear reactors by 2050 is a significant endeavor that is front of mind for educational practitioners and policymakers. An understanding that the challenges in meeting the projected workforce needs of the nuclear community rely on dynamic, responsive, and innovative solutions thus is contingent on enhanced recruitment, retention, and development. To this point, a threefold approach of (1) IDEA (inclusion, diversity, equity, accessibility) initiatives, (2) AGI (academia-government-industry) partnerships, and (3) gap analysis offers a promising avenue for addressing these issues.

WIPP workforce development plan established by DOE and local college

August 14, 2023, 3:02PMNuclear News
The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico. (Photo: DOE)

The Department of Energy today announced a noncompetitive financial assistance cooperative agreement with Southeast New Mexico College, located in Carlsbad, N.M., for educational programs to enhance the knowledge, skills, and abilities of current Waste Isolation Pilot Plant employees while also building and training WIPP’s next-generation workforce.

PEJ looks to build nuclear workforce in Poland

August 8, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News

Łukasz Młynarkiewicz (left), acting president of PEJ, and Krzysztof Zaremba, rector of the Warsaw University of Technology, signed an agreement on August 7 regarding the training of personnel for Poland’s nuclear energy program. (Photo: Warsaw University of Technology)

Polskie Elektrownie Jądrowe (PEJ), the state-owned firm set up to lead Poland’s efforts to establish a civil nuclear power program, signed an agreement yesterday with the Warsaw University of Technology to cooperate on the training of personnel for the nuclear sector.

The agreement provides for “substantive and research cooperation” as well as “cooperation in the development and implementation of scholarship programs [and] co-organization of competitions for scientific works or design competitions,” PEJ said in a news release. PEJ and the university will also work together on a curriculum to enable graduates to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to find employment in the nuclear energy field, the company added.

According to Poland’s Ministry of Climate and Environment, there are already some 80 companies operating in the Central European nation that provide services to nuclear technology vendors worldwide, with another 300 ready to join the nuclear supply chain.

Savannah River interns featured at CNTA breakfast event

August 7, 2023, 12:00PMNuclear News
From left, interns Justin Vu Le (SRMC), Zaire Shaw (SRNL), and Neal Thakkar (SRNS) were the featured speakers at an Up & Atom breakfast. (Photo: CNTA)

Three college interns from the Savannah River Site were the keynote speakers at a recent Up & Atom Breakfast hosted by Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness (CNTA). The breakfast was held at Newberry Hall in Aiken, S.C.

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.

NNSA provides funding for new apprenticeship programs

July 24, 2023, 7:00AMNuclear News

The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announced on July 20 that it has awarded two organizations—Hardinge Inc. and the Association of Journeyman and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Local 412—five-year grants totaling $2.17 million. The funds will be used to develop and strengthen apprenticeship training programs aligned with the NNSA’s needs for technician positions throughout its laboratories, plants, and sites.

Savannah River hosts workshop, job shadowing event

July 19, 2023, 3:00PMRadwaste Solutions
Savannah River National Laboratory employee Vernon Bush, center, and SRNL summer intern Jadrion Huell, standing at right, of Claflin University, conduct a job shadowing activity with students Tredarius Lassiter, seated at left, and Tommy Applewhite. (Photo: DOE)

A three-day Minority Serving Institutions Partnership Program (MSIPP) event, led by Savannah River National Laboratory researcher Simona Hunyadi Murph, was held recently at the South Carolina site, according to a release by the Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management (DOE-EM). The event included a collaborative workshop, job shadowing, and a tour of the laboratory and Savannah River Site field activities.