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SRMC and Denmark Technical College Launch Nuclear Operator Apprentice Training

AIKEN, S.C. (October 30, 2023) — Savannah River Mission Completion (SRMC), the liquid waste contractor at the Savannah River Site (SRS), is further strengthening its relationship with Denmark Technical College (DTC) as the school conducts training for Liquid Waste Nuclear Operator Apprentices for the first time.

As of September 2023, eight new hires from SRMC are taking part in the intense Nuclear Fundamentals program. SRMC’s Training organization is working with DTC and Apprenticeship Carolina to prepare new hire employees to fill nuclear operator positions. Apprenticeship Carolina, a division of the South Carolina Technical College System, is a statewide program that works to attract new companies to the state and provide comprehensive workforce solutions to ensure they stay and grow.

This is SRMC’s first apprenticeship cohort completing their fundamentals training at DTC. The group is scheduled to complete the program in April 2024.

SRMC President and Program Manager Dave Olson said having DTC providing the training will strengthen SRMC's program.

"I'm pleased that a second technical college from our surrounding communities is taking part in this training program, which will make this important training more accessible for our apprentices," Olson said. “The apprentices will have the opportunity to move into operations positions that are a key component in our liquid waste program.”

In the Nuclear Fundamentals Certificate program, the students take seven months of intensive training with courses in chemistry, physics, engineering, and radiation fundamentals, completing two college-level classes in an abbreviated semester. A strong grasp of each topic is critical to understanding how facilities function at SRS.

As operators, the workers will be charged with the responsibility of keeping the facility and its equipment in a safe working condition, including operating and monitoring equipment, taking readings, and adding chemicals when needed.

As part of the operator-related training, students are participating in SRS regulatory courses, facility training, and other requirements. The apprentices attend two days of classes at DTC and work two days at SRS each week.

DTC President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Willie Todd, Jr. says the school is excited about the future of this training program.

"SRMC's liquid waste program has a longstanding history of providing wonderful career opportunities for our students and members of our community," Todd said. "Having the liquid waste program participating in our nuclear fundamentals training elevates our relationship with SRMC while providing students a chance to obtain a meaningful career with pathways to economic mobility."

SRMC and DTC have a signed Memorandum of Understanding for development of enhanced training in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), broadening the school's offerings and the opportunity for a career at SRS. The MOU between SRMC and DTC is effective from July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2025, and can be renewed.

DTC is the only historically black technical college in the state of South Carolina, focusing on technical career training, associate degrees, and a four-year college transfer program. Its team brings the capabilities necessary to accelerate cleanup at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site through safe nuclear operations, optimized and integrated mission execution, and strong corporate governance.

SRMC President and Program Manager Dave Olson makes opening remarks to the new class of Nuclear Operator Apprentices and faculty members at Denmark Technical College.


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