Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness recently sponsored mini-workshops titled “Energy Resources and Opportunities” for summer interns at the Savannah River Site.

Twenty-four Savannah River Remediation interns participated in a two-hour session on June 19 presented by Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness members Mel Buckner and Ken Stephens. The presentation was based on material used in the group’s teacher workshop, Bringing Nuclear into the Classroom, which has been presented to nearly 300 K-12 teachers in the region since 2009, according to Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness.

The topics included a discussion by Stephens of electric power generation and the many energy sources that are used to heat and cool homes and to power businesses and industry, along with projections for the future. Stephens also discussed risk in relation to everyday activities and hazards and regulatory standards.

Buckner’s presentation on Nuclear Technology Applications and Opportunities: Fulfilling Marie Curie’s Dream outlined the areas that nuclear technology beneficially impacts, with particular emphasis on electricity.

According to Buckner, nuclear power is to the key to our energy future because it is sustainable, safe, reliable and environmentally friendly.

Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness, also known as CNTA, reported there are 28,074 nuclear-related jobs in South Carolina, and it is projected that at least 10,000 more nuclear workers will be needed in this region alone to support the growth of the nuclear industry.

The Savannah River Nuclear Solutions interns along with three teachers on summer appointments from Allendale participated in a two-and-a-half hour mini-workshop on July 22.

Brad Swanson, also a CNTA member, presented the power generation discussion and used a hands-on activity to illustrate the operation of the electrical grid and the types of plants that provide our electricity.

Stephens discussed real versus perceived risk and used an exercise for ranking risk of various activities such as driving an automobile, smoking, flying in an airplane, working as a coal miner, living near a nuclear plant to illustrate that perception is not an accurate measure of risk.