June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
Nuclear and Radiological
14.1096.1 - 14.1096.11
Summer Nuclear Engineering Institute for Texas and Big- 12 Undergraduates Abstract
Through a US Nuclear Regulatory Commission grant we have established a Summer Nuclear Engineering Institute for Texas and Big-12 undergraduate students to ameliorate their educational experience at their home institution. The Institute, which will be held for the first time in the summer of 2009, will serve undergraduates from outside of The University of Texas at Austin (UT-Austin) who are pursuing a degree in a discipline other than nuclear engineering (NE) as well as those who are working toward NE degrees at schools without a research reactor.
Growth in the supply of trained engineers for the nuclear industry has been exceeded by demand growth. Nuclear engineers have been in high demand because of the high turnover in the aging industrial workforce; however the construction of a generation of new nuclear power plants will play an even more significant role in the employment dynamics of the industry. Domestic utilities have announced plans to construct nearly thirty new plants over the next decade and a half. Operational and support staffing requirements for these new plants will be considerable: it has been estimated that a demand for tens of thousands of engineers working in nuclear-related disciplines will develop1. Of more pressing concern is the design, engineering, licensing and regulatory work needed to bring these plans to fruition. Demand for skilled employees in these areas is affecting a profound and immediate impact on the nuclear job market.
Three examples serve to illustrate the pressing need for young talent at the outset of the pathway to the nuclear renaissance. Westinghouse Electric, a major reactor vendor and provider of operational support services, has publicized its need for 500 trained engineers per year for the foreseeable future in a number of venues including a seminar given at UT-Austin in the fall of 2007. The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) faces a demand for new talent on a similar scale and has been hiring between 300 and 400 employees per year in recent years2. Finally, AREVA, the largest nuclear fuel cycle service provider in the world, added over 4,000 employees in 2007 alone3, a considerable portion of which were affiliated with AREVA’s North American operations.
The primary objective of the Institute is to therefore to impart upon future nuclear professionals, including those from non-nuclear academic disciplines, the practical skills they will need when working in proximity to a nuclear reactor or in an environment where radiological hazards are present. We have structured the Institute around two intensive two-week academic sessions with a classroom environment in the morning and laboratory experiments in the afternoon. The 1 Megawatt TRIGA reactor at UT-Austin will therefore play a central role in the Institute curriculum, as will the health physics instrumentation maintained at UT-Austin. The strong practical and experimental component of the Institute curriculum will be complemented by the classroom lectures.
Schneider, E., & Biegalski, S., & Hearnsberger, D., & Landsberger, S. (2009, June), Summer Nuclear Engineering Institute For Texas And Big 12 Undergraduates Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5344
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