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Idaho State University College of Technology receives $150k grant to fund nuclear education scholarships

July 31, 2012
ISU Marketing and Communications

For the third time in almost as many years, the Energy Systems Technology and Education Center (ESTEC) at the Idaho State University College of Technology has been awarded funding for student scholarships.  The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) recently awarded $149,400 to Idaho State University for distribution to students this fall.

The funding will provide ESTEC with the opportunity to support five scholarships in the amount of $6,500 for incoming students into the program.  An additional 13 scholarships will also be awarded to students currently enrolled in ESTEC.  Continuing students will receive up to $5,500 over two semesters.

Lawrence Beaty, Executive Director/Chair of ESTEC, said,  "These are multi-benefit scholarships that will provide opportunities for Idaho students to be able to afford an education and gain necessary skills in nuclear operations and maintenance.  This focus on nuclear education is consistent with Governor [C.L. "Butch"] Otter's initiative to enhance the long-term viability of Idaho's nuclear industry."

ESTEC launched the Nuclear Operations Technician program in fall 2011 with help from the Idaho National Laboratory, a U.S. Department of Energy research laboratory based in Idaho Falls.  INL is one of ESTEC's founding partners and provided funding for the Nuclear Technician program.  INL employees also teach some of the courses.

"The funding from the NRC underscores the regional importance of this program," said Richard Holman, INL's manager of energy workforce initiatives. "It is critical that we have the resources to educate and train the next generation of nuclear technicians and operators."

Funding received from the NRC has also awarded funding to ISU that will allow scholarship recipients the opportunity to travel to a national nuclear conference held in Florida later this year.  The professional conference will provide networking and educational experiences for students focused on a nuclear career.  Additional funding through the grant will also pay for scholarship recipients to travel to an internship prior to their graduation from ESTEC.

This is the third time since 2008 that ESTEC has received funding from the NRC, an amount that now totals more than $350,000 for student scholarships.  The ISU College of Technology applied for this funding from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission two years ago

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