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NRC Awards $14 Million in Nuclear Education Grants

Aug. 22, 2013—The Nuclear Regulatory Commission this year awarded more than $14 million in grants to universities and community colleges to support education in nuclear science, engineering and related trades.

The agency’s Nuclear Education Program has since 2007 provided nearly $107 million in funding for educational institutions engaged in teaching and research in technical fields such as nuclear, mechanical and electrical engineering, health physics, and radiochemistry. According to the NRC, the program aims “to develop a future workforce capable of designing, constructing, operating and regulating the next generation of nuclear facilities.”

The program provides scholarships and fellowships for universities, trade schools and community colleges and also supports the career development of university faculty engaged in nuclear-related fields.

In fiscal 2013 a total of 48 grants were issued to 36 institutions in 24 states. Grants of $4.75 million were awarded for university faculty development, $8.48 million for university scholarships and fellowships, and $1.02 million for trade school and community college scholarships.

The faculty development initiative supports new faculty in the fields of nuclear engineering, health physics and radiochemistry, but these funds are only available to universities. The industry is urging the NRC to allow community colleges to compete for faculty development grants.

“Faculty development is an important aspect of ensuring that students receive a quality education,” said Elizabeth McAndrew-Benavides, NEI’s senior manager of workforce policy and programs. She added, “Hopefully, the NRC will expand the eligibility of its faculty development grants to include nuclear professors at community colleges in addition to those at universities.”

The full list of grant recipients is available on the NRC’s website.