June 5, 2014
Aiken, S.C. -- Savannah River Remediation (SRR), the liquid waste contractor at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Savannah River Site (SRS), needs unique skills to continue to fulfill its mission safely.
One of those skills, protecting workers from radiation, is key to the work being performed by SRR.
Aiken Technical College (ATC) is a leader in producing graduates in this important field. SRR now has nine ATC graduates on staff to help the company with its mission of treating and dispositioning radioactive waste and operationally closing waste tanks.
The workers in the SRR Radiological Protection Program ensure adherence to regulatory requirements and provide radiological support to the workforce. Also, these workers are trained and qualified to use specialized survey instruments that monitor radiation and contamination.
These Radiological Inspectors, as they are known, and their supervisors assist and guide workers in the radiological aspects of the job in order to minimize worker exposure to radiation and to prevent the spread of contamination.
Ken Rueter, SRR President and Project Manager, said his company wants to bring skilled workers into the company so they can quickly transition from work in the classroom to work in the field.
"The ATC students we have employed are doing a good job in a needed field," Rueter said. "They have learned how to safely operate and perform within our mission, and it's a testament to the quality of their training and their passion to do outstanding work."
Dr. Susan Winsor, ATC President, added that the relationship with SRR and all nuclear-related companies in the area means her institution can draw real-world experience into the students' lives, making them better trained and more employable.
"With ongoing missions at the Savannah River Site and construction at Plant Vogtle and V.C. Summer Nuclear Power Station, the nuclear industry in our region is poised for tremendous growth," Winsor said. "By working closely with our nuclear industry partners like SRR, we are able to ensure that the industry's workforce needs are met and our citizens have the high-quality training needed to secure careers in this high-demand industry."
At SRR, Seth DuVall, a Senior Radiological Protection Inspector, says ATC prepared him well for the work he is doing.
"My profession – what I do at SRR – is exactly what I was trained for at Aiken Technical College," he said.
Another SRR Radiological Protection Inspector who graduated from ATC, Tony Spence, said he is a non-traditional student who wanted to take a new career direction.
"I decided to re-tool myself when, after working in manufacturing for 26 years, I knew I wanted a different job," said Spence. "I made a list of what types of jobs I wanted, and Radiological Control could not have fit any better. I thoroughly enjoy my job."
SRS, located near Aiken, S.C., is owned by the U.S. Department of Energy. The SRS Liquid Waste contract is managed by SRR, a team of companies led by URS Corporation, with partners Bechtel National, CH2M HILL and Babcock & Wilcox. Critical subcontractors for the contract are AREVA, Energy Solutions and URS Professional Solutions.
Aiken Technical College is a public, open-door, two-year, comprehensive institution of higher education established to provide citizens of greater Aiken County opportunities for educational, economic, professional, civic and personal development. Through its focus on teaching and learning, the college supports economic growth and community development by educating and training students for entry into the workforce or for further higher education.
Point of Contact: Amy Joslin, Director of Public Affairs and Project Communications