Researcher to assess nationís nuclear energy industry
Darla Moore School of Business economist Dr. Douglas P. Woodward has received a research award from the U.S. Department of Energy to conduct a national survey of the workforce and education needs of the nation’s nuclear energy industry.
The $150,000 award is funded by DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy through a grant with the S.C. Universities Research and Education Foundation. Woodward, who is director of the Moore School’s Division of Research, will work with Dr. Joseph Von Nessen, a Moore school research assistant professor of economics, to assess the next decade’s need for nuclear scientists and engineers. The survey will review the demand for jobs in the energy, environmental, medical and defense sectors of the nuclear industry.
The DOE award is in response to industry concern that there will be a shortage of qualified nuclear scientists and engineers during this next decade.
The Nuclear Energy Institute, the policy organization for the nuclear technologies industry, estimates that half of the nuclear industry’s workforce will be eligible to retire in the next 10 years. The American Nuclear Society’s Special Committee on Federal Investment in Nuclear Education had similar findings in a 2007 report and has outlined higher-education needs for the U.S. to continue to be a leader in the field of nuclear energy.
DOE is expected to announce the results of the survey in spring 2010.