Source: ETEBA Newsletter | Tim Griffin, ETEBA’s Executive Director | June 24, 2019
An excerpt from Tim Griffin’s weekly column to the ETEBA Membership…
Last week I had the pleasure of attending the Millennial Nuclear Caucus at the New Hope Center in Oak Ridge. For any of my fellow “seasoned” workers who may be discouraged or concerned about the future of the nuclear industry and its aging workforce, let me recommend that you spend a day at one of these events. The energy (pardon the pun) in the room is palpable, and one can’t help but be impressed by the extremely intelligent, creative, and enthusiastic young people who have chosen the nuclear industry as their career path.
One notable perspective that appears to be almost universal among young people in the nuclear industry is that they view nuclear energy through the lens of the environment, and they are motivated by the positive impact that nuclear energy can have on greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.
However, it was noted several times during the discussions that the industry has not done an effective job in conveying this message to the general public, and that nuclear proponents need to do a better job on the public relations front. It was also acknowledged that the industry faces an uphill battle on the economic front, particularly in the face of the economic realities associated with the cost to build new nuclear power plants and low natural gas prices for the foreseeable future. Nonetheless, there was a great deal of optimism in the room about the future of nuclear energy, and it was hard not to come away from the event inspired by these young people and what the future holds for the industry.