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Thursday, April 14, 2011 - 11:30am

Feds Boost College Nuke Programs

Updated: 3 years ago.
A grant from the U.S. Department of Energy will foster nuclear studies at five Augusta-area colleges. The award comes with a rise in demand for nuclear workers. (Photo by Noel Brown)

A recent government study says two nuclear facilities near Augusta -- Plant Vogtle and the Savannah River Site -- will need nearly 10,000 new nuclear workers in the next decade.

To head off an impending worker shortage, the DOE is spending nearly a million dollars to help area colleges set up nuclear programs.

Andy Hauger is a physics professor at Augusta State University, one of the school's sharing in the money. He says the money will pay for lab equipment needed to train students in nuclear science technology.

"It's not inexpensive to run these things and to maintain these labs so this is really a huge jumpstart for this program," says Hauger.

The other schools participating in the grant are Augusta Tech, Aiken Tech and the University of South Carolina in Aiken and Salkehatchie.

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