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Updates from The SRSCRO
October 2014
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What a Week!
Nuclear Science Week (NSW) was widely celebrated during October 20 - 24 across the SRSCRO region. Events involved an award-winning filmmaker, more than 600 local students and educators, nuclear employers, and regional citizens. Nuclear technology applications and nuclear careers were highlighted throughout the week. Activities were coordinated in advance of the week through a regional committee hosted by the SRSCRO Nuclear Workforce Initiative. As part of the regional committee, Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness (CNTA) developed a special news insert that was distributed during the week.

Here's a look at Nuclear Science Week in review:

Teller Lecture
Robert Stone
CNTA's 23rd Annual Edward Teller Lecture/Banquet was held at the University of South Carolina Aiken's Convocation Center in Aiken, SC on Monday, Oct 20. Guest Speaker, Robert Stone, Director of the feature film "Pandora's Promise" talked about being both an environmentalist and pro-nuclear supporter as he shared the inside story of his award winning film and thoughts about our nation's future energy needs. Highlights of the evening are here.

Education Days
Ruth Patrick Science Education Center (RPSEC) at the University of South Carolina Aiken had a full week of interactive programs for five different school groups including three from South Aiken High School. Programs included: "Journey to the Center of the Atom" featuring the Interactive Nucleus and the Isotope Discovery Kit, "Chemicals Matter," and "Probing the Periodic Table." Students had the opportunity to work with nuclear engineers and were introduced to nuclear career opportunities.
Georgia Regents University (GRU) Education Day was held Oct 21 on the medical campus of GRU. The event, now in its second year, included programs taught by regional nuclear experts and supported by faculty from the College of Allied Health Sciences' Nuclear Medicine Technology and Radiation Therapy programs. Representatives from CB&I AREVA MOX Services presented an interactive program on the fundamentals of nuclear fuel and the benefits of nuclear medicine. CNTA Volunteers taught "Journey to the Center of the Atom" using the Isotope Discovery Kit, available through RPSEC.  

Site Visit Days
Plant Vogtle Visitors Center kicked off NSW by providing a tour to 60 Lakeside High School students from Columbia County. The students were given an overview presentation with a focus on how nuclear energy is made and on careers in the industry. They were also given a perimeter tour of the site where they stepped off the bus to view the massive cooling towers of Vogtle 1 and 2. The tour concluded with a tour of the control room simulator for Vogtle 3 and 4 to give the students a look at the careers of tomorrow in a growing and changing nuclear industry. Pictured: Communications Supervisor Mike McCracken talks to the students in the simulator.

The Vogtle Visitors Center wrapped up NSW with a tour of the site for more than 80 Burke County Middle School sixth graders and teachers. Pictured: Communication Specialist Lisa Chance talks to the students on the bus tour.

At Savannah River Site (SRS) dozens of area educators participated in a "mobile seminar" while visiting major facilities at SRS and learned about a wide variety of nuclear-related occupations and missions at the Department of Energy site. "The goal of this unusually extensive tour was to demonstrate how what's learned in the classroom today will later apply to jobs at SRS, Plant Vogtle and other nuclear-based corporations found in the greater Aiken-Augusta area," said Kim Mitchell, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions Education (SRNS) Outreach. "We want to help teachers throughout the Central Savannah River Area enhance this area of awareness for students in our high schools." Pictured: An Aiken teacher tours the SRNS Environmental Bioassay Laboratory (EBL).

VC Summer Nuclear Station, located in Jenkinsville, SC, hosted student and teacher tours of the AP1000 nuclear construction site on Oct 21 & 23. Participants included a 6th grade class, two high school groups, and a college group of engineering students. Pictured: Karl Sease talks with 6th grade students about the nuclear process.

STEM Career Connections              


As an expansion of Nuclear Science Week, the SRS Community Reuse Organization organized STEM Career Connections in partnership with local employers, colleges and universities to bring greater awareness of the many careers available within nuclear technology and other high-tech industries.


"STEM is for everyone," remarked Fran Forehand, Vice-President of Georgia Power's East Region, to more than 200 high school juniors and seniors during the opening session at STEM Career Connections. Fran encouraged students to pursue the vast options in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) fields as she conveyed her own journey that led to a degree in electrical engineering from the University of Alabama and a co-op position at Georgia Power.

Fran's message was reinforced throughout the day as students from 18 Georgia and South Carolina high schools experienced STEM careers through interactive displays and panel discussions with young professionals. The event took place October 23, 2014 at the Kroc Center in Augusta, GA.

Sessions highlighted local careers in the nuclear power industry, advanced manufacturing, nuclear medicine, computer technologies, environmental management and other nuclear technologies.


Events included the STEM Exhibit Showcase where students tried out applications of science and technology including a virtual reality headset. "Our students enjoyed the connections day...the students are still talking about it and all of the cool companies they were able to talk with. They are also showing off all of the gear they came home with!" commented Ms. Whitney Poucher, a teacher in Economics and Introduction to Digital Technology at Greenbrier High School.

Ms. Rhonda Farmer, M.Ed from the Allendale-Fairfax school system also sent remarks following the event, "Thank you for such an awesome time. My kids really did enjoy the day! I look forward to many more opportunities..."

A complete list of sponsors and exhibitors is available here.

More information and pictures are available here.

Photos were taken by Mr. William Sears, MOX Services, and show the students enjoying the Exhibitor Showcase.   

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise - Another Continuing Resolution
At the end of September, the House and Senate both passed a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the federal government for fiscal 2015 from October 1 through December 11, 2014. The House supported the measure by a vote of 319-108, while the Senate voted 78-22 in favor of bill passage. President Obama swiftly signed the measure into law on September 19, 2014, averting any threat of a government shutdown this October. Since 2000, Congress has passed CRs ranging anywhere from one day to 157 days, with the highest number of CRs signed in 2001, when 21 CRs were passed. This CR is for 72 days.

With the CR's expiration date set for December 11, Congressional lawmakers will next need to take up federal appropriations legislation during the lame duck period following the November elections, the outcome of which will be important in shaping the context for negotiations, particularly in the Senate. For the most part, the House and Senate agree on spending bill levels for fiscal 2015, since the overall discretionary spending caps for the year were already set under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013. However, possible contentious policy riders as well as calls for emergency funding may present more significant obstacles to reaching a full-year funding agreement come December.

After passing the CR, the House and Senate adjourned for the November mid-term elections. The Senate may convene in October to conduct some business, but the full Congress will not return until after Veterans Day (November 11). At that time Congress will begin a lame duck session to address unfinished business, including the passage of FY2015 appropriations.

To date the House has only passed seven FY2015 appropriations bills while the Senate has passed none. Congress will have less than one month to reach agreement on the details of all 12 appropriations bills, put them together in an omnibus bill, and get it to the president by December 11th. If Congress does not meet this deadline it will have to pass another CR to avert a government shutdown.

The FY 2015 CR will continue the majority of existing policy and funding (less a 0.0554% across-the-board cut to achieve the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 spending level rescissions) provisions that were enacted by the FY2014 appropriations legislation.  

What does the current CR mean for SRS? On the DOE-EM side it basically means continue operations as they are currently performing. There cannot be any new project starts during the CR period but some FY14 unexpended funds could be carried forward. For MOX, the official Administration's stance for FY15 is to move MOX into cold standby. However, unofficially with the recent bipartisan support out of both the Senate and House appropriations committees for MOX funding, construction will most likely continue at a lower than needed funding level, probably something in the $250 - $300 million range.

In This Issue
Nuclear Science Week
STEM Career Connections
Another Continuing Resolution
SRSCRO Spotlight


The History of
Nuclear Science Week
2010 - 2014

In 2009, the Smithsonian affiliated National Museum of Nuclear Science & History consulted with its nuclear industry partners, discussing the need for generating communication and public awareness centered on the achievements of nuclear science. Through these discussions, the idea of hosting a week that celebrated the field of nuclear science materialized.

Through the support of staff members from the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History and industry partners such as Entergy, the American Nuclear Society, the Nuclear Energy Institute, the Savannah River Site Community Reuse Organization and others, a National Nuclear Science Week steering committee was formed to promote community engagement and education regarding the contributions of the nuclear science industry and those who work in it every day.

The first Nuclear Science Week (NSW) celebrations, 2010-2012, were held in late January. The national steering committee decided it was time to change in 2013, as the January timeframe proved too cold for some parts of the country to easily mount programming efforts. To ensure participation with all members of the national steering committee and industry partners - including all areas of power generation, nuclear medicine, national defense and teaching communities - Nuclear Science Week was officially moved to the third week of October.

A number of local events take place all over the nation during Nuclear Science Week. It is celebrated in cities big and small, and any community is invited to get involved and host a Nuclear Science Week celebration. Each year a different city is chosen to host a "Big Event", and smaller celebrations take place throughout the country.

The first NSW was hosted in Albuquerque, NM, at the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History. The second year, in 2011, the Big Event took place on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. In 2012, the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago hosted the main event, and in 2013 it was hosted in Aiken, SC. This year's national event will take place in Seattle, WA.

As each event passes on to the next, Nuclear Science Week continues to grow and continues to tell the story of the nuclear sciences to members of the public and key stakeholders by promoting understanding and connection to the profession.
For more information, please check the NSW web site at

Images from NSW 2014




Facts & Truths

Plant Vogtle Fun Facts:

The expected peak construction workforce of 5,000 at the Vogtle 3 and 4 site is larger than the population of 400+ cities in Georgia.

Each "all-digital" control room for the new Vogtle units contains 42 computer screens.

The volume of concrete required to construct the units (500,000 cubic yards) could build a sidewalk 3,375 miles long, from Miami to Seattle.

View the time lapse video from July 2014:

Quick Links
Upcoming Events

The 2014 & 2015 SRSCRO meeting schedule is available at
Closing Thoughts

"A committee can make a decision that is dumber than any of its members." - David Coblitz

"We can have facts without thinking but we cannot have thinking without facts." - John Dewey

"The town where I grew up has a zip code of E-I-E-I-O." - Martin Mull

"A diplomat... is a person who can tell you to go to hell in such a way that you actually look forward to the trip." - Caskie Stinnett

"Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people." - W. C. Fields

"Ability will never catch up with the demand for it." - Malcolm Forbes

"Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily this is not difficult." - Charlotte Whitton

Contact Information
SRSCRO, PO Box 696, Aiken, SC 20802   Like us on Facebook
Rick McLeod - Executive Director - 803-508-7402
Mindy Mets- NWI Program Manager - 803-508-7403
Anne Manttari - Business Manager - 803-508-7401
Kim Saxon - Assistant Coordinator - 803-508-7656