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  • Writer's pictureLucas Nava

Olson: Graduates prove "they want to be an important part" of SRS team

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Thirty-six students have graduated from a federal training program and now are certified for certain nuclear operator positions at a former weapons-manufacturing site in South Carolina, the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Environmental Management announced recently.

The graduates, the first from the Nuclear Fundamentals Certificate Program, completed the intensive seven-month course this past summer, the DOE announced Sept. 6. The program is a partnership between the Savannah River Mission Completion (SRMC) and Aiken (S.C.) Technical College, according to the announcement, to fill nuclear-operator positions at the SRS site.

"One of the goals of a strong technical college like ours is to partner with businesses in our community to produce high-quality workers to fill their job opportunities," ATC President Forest Mahan said in the announcement. "Nuclear fundamentals training will provide a career level for these students that they might never have dreamed of reaching before."

Over the course of 7 months of "intensive training," students took courses in chemistry, engineering, physics, and radiation fundamentals, completing two college-level courses. They also took regulatory courses, facilities, and operator training, and worked two days per week at SRS, the DOE reports.

"A strong grasp of each topic is critical to understanding how facilities operate at SRS" DOE states in the report.

SRMC President and Program Manager Dave Olson said SRMC is "extremely pleased" to partner with ATC, "which helps us strengthen our team while providing important job opportunities for the local workforce."

"These students have proven that they want to be an important part of the liquid waste team at SRS," Olson said.

The second group of trainees is expected to be hired and begin the certificate program in January, according to the DOE.

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