Insight Web Extra July 2009
—What do baseball, racing and nuclear energy have in common? An interest in carbon-free electricity to light stadiums and speedways around the country.
Newman Wachs Racing (NWR) driver John Edwards joined Entergy Operations Chief Executive Officer Mike Kansler last month in throwing out the first pitches at the Mississippi Braves baseball game in Jackson, Miss. The occasion was “Nuclear. Clean-Air Energy Night” at the ballpark, with food, fun, fireworks—and a visit from the NWR race car that Edwards drives.
Four years ago, the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) began promoting clean nuclear energy at race tracks around the country through sponsorship of two cars owned and driven by NWR, which was founded by the late actor Paul Newman and business leader Eddie Wachs. Entergy Nuclear joined the program as a co-sponsor in 2008.
At the track, the cars roar by at 170 mph wearing their nuclear energy “colors” and, between races, occasionally visit such non-racing venues as college campuses and, last month, the home stadium of an Atlanta Braves farm team.
The public awareness program is designed to educate racing fans and consumers about the carbon-free production of electricity at 104 nuclear power plants across the United States.
“With clean energy at the forefront of national policy and public concern these days, we are working with NEI and NWR to tell the story of safe, clean and affordable electricity through nuclear power,” Kansler said.
The program also is an important recruitment tool for the industry as it pursues employees for the future work force, said Scott Peterson, vice president for communications at NEI.
“At a time when students across college campuses have a lot of concern about getting into the work force, the nuclear energy industry is recruiting heavily for employees in nearly all fields of engineering, as well as skilled crafts and other disciplines,” said Scott Peterson, vice president for communications at NEI.
Peterson said the industry already has spurred the creation of more than 14,000 jobs in the past few years as it prepares to build new nuclear plants. “This is a time of tremendous opportunity for highly skilled individuals looking to join an elite, highly paid work force.”
Photo: The “Nuclear Clean Air Energy” car was on display at the Mississippi Braves minor league baseball park during a “Nuclear Clean Air Energy” Night sponsored by Entergy Nuclear in Jackson, Miss. Nearly 4,000 fans met race car driver John Edwards, saw Entergy Nuclear CEO Mike Kansler throw out the first pitch, and heard NEI's nuclear clean air messages on video and radio throughout the June 26 game. [Image credit: Entergy Nuclear]
—Read more articles in Nuclear Energy Insight and Insight Web Extra.