June 17, 2008
Nuclear Energy’s Resurgence Promises to Spur Job Growth
WASHINGTON, June 17 /PRNewswire/ -- The Clean and Safe Energy Coalition (CASEnergy Coalition) today released a new white paper titled, Job Creation in the Nuclear Renaissance that catalogues the potential for tens of thousands of American jobs in the nuclear energy industry in the next decade.
Coalition Co-chair Christine Todd Whitman, former EPA administrator and New Jersey governor, was joined by a diverse group of leaders to support the positive economic and environmental impact of nuclear energy in the United States. Among those who support the findings of the white paper are:
-- U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) -- U.S. Senator George Voinovich (R-OH) -- U.S. Representative James Clyburn (D-SC) -- U.S. Representative Fred Upton (R-MI) -- U.S. Representative Jason Altmire (D-PA) -- Mayor Bill Saffo, Wilmington, NC -- John Engler, President and CEO, National Association of Manufacturers -- Mark Ayers, President, Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO -- Dr. Patrick Moore, Co-Founder, Greenpeace -- Lisa Stiles, Project Manager, Strategic Staffing and Knowledge Management, Dominion Nuclear -- Michael Kurzeja, Vice President, North American Young Generation in Nuclear -- Gilbert J. Brown, Ph.D., Professor and Coordinator, Nuclear Engineering Program, University of Massachusetts LowellThe white paper examines the job growth potential for existing and future nuclear power plants and finds that nuclear plants are a boon to local economies. Altogether, 12,000 to 21,000 new jobs will be added to the U.S. market if some 30 reactors currently planned for construction are built. These are long-term jobs that would exist throughout the operation of the reactor, promising decades of employment.
-- Each nuclear plant provides 400 to 700 high-paying jobs. -- Depending on construction methods, each new reactor could require as many as 4,000 workers per project at peak periods. -- According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the median annual salary for nuclear engineers is $82,900 -- approximately $8,000 more than all other engineering disciplines except petroleum engineering. -- Each of the country's 104 reactors generates an estimated $430 million a year in total output for the local community, and nearly $40 million per year in total labor income.
"Nuclear power provides a clean energy solution that produces no greenhouse gases and is good for the economy," said Whitman. "A renewed focus on nuclear energy will translate into tens of thousands of high-paying American jobs needed to build and operate new reactors."
The CASEnergy white paper details the favorable impact of the nuclear industry's resurgence on jobs and the economy -- this at a time when employment is currently 5.5% and the country needs 25 percent more electricity by 2030, according to projections by the U.S. Department of Energy.
To realize the economic potential that new reactor projects offer, the nation must invest in the education infrastructure needed to cultivate the next generation of workers. Close collaboration between energy companies, government and secondary educational institutions is critical. Although interest among students in nuclear energy careers is growing rapidly, new reactor construction may be the next catalyst to drive enrollment in college and university programs and create substantial numbers of new nuclear professionals.
New nuclear plants will also drive the demand for skilled craft labor focused on three areas -- construction, operation and maintenance. As many as 185,000 new construction workers will be needed in the nuclear energy industry by 2015 for new positions and to replace approximately 95,000 retiring workers. Joint apprenticeship and training programs in the building and construction industry are important to ensure that the industry maintains a highly skilled work force.
The CASEnergy Coalition and its more than 1,600 members will work to promote the use of nuclear energy to stimulate our nation's economy and protect our environment, but it calls on industry, government and educators for support. The need for energy is a non-partisan issue and the support for nuclear energy is bi-partisan. Those who authored a foreword to the white paper stated:
-- "We need to maintain and grow a safe, clean nuclear industry to protect our nation's future energy security and reduce the threat of global warming. Congress must provide support and incentives to the nuclear industry to help redevelop its workforce, facilities and capacity, which, in turn, can restore our lead in safe, efficient nuclear manufacturing, while creating tens of thousands of highly-skilled jobs." -- U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-DE), Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety -- "Nuclear power is growing in the world and our own energy and environmental needs can serve as a springboard to rebuild American technology and manufacturing capabilities to something approaching the leadership the nation once enjoyed, contributing to foreign markets as well as supporting our own. A recent nuclear energy roundtable that Senator Carper and I co-chaired in November with representatives of the government, industry, academia, and labor leaders including John Sweeney of the AFL-CIO, confirmed my belief that the ongoing resurgence in nuclear power provides a unique opportunity for the United States to reclaim its leadership role in the advancement of nuclear technologies and revitalizing nuclear component manufacturing base which should create many high paying jobs for American workers." -- U.S. Senator George Voinovich (R-OH), Ranking Member of the Senate Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety -- "Through a renewed commitment to nuclear power, we have a unique opportunity, and a responsibility, to simultaneously cut greenhouse gases, maintain the affordability of our electricity supply, and give a boost to our ailing economy. The construction of dozens of new plants on American soil will foster the rebirth of our domestic manufacturing industry and create tens of thousands of new, high-paying jobs. Not only will our environment be better for it, our national security will also be fortified. Millions of households will be powered by zero-emission nuclear power and our nation's economy will be powered by nuclear as well." -- U.S. Congressman Fred Upton (R-MI), Ranking Republican on the House Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality -- "In light of what high gas prices are doing not only to our local economy, but our national and global economy, the time to act with respect to alternative and renewable energy sources is now. Nuclear energy is a clean and efficient form of power. Its potential is important to our energy policy nationally. It is proven over the years to be safe and reliable and will play a large role as one of our sources to overcome our dependence on foreign oil." -- Bill Saffo, Mayor of Wilmington, N.C. -- "We must continue to support the expansion of nuclear energy to maintain jobs and economic growth in America. A robust economy demands more energy, even as we pursue alternative means such as conservation and efficiency. Failure to supply those increased energy demands will raise energy costs for manufacturers and consumers and hurt our global competitiveness." -- John Engler, President and CEO, National Association of Manufacturers -- "As a college student, I chose to study nuclear engineering because I was fascinated by the science and I believed nuclear science and technology make important contributions to society. Working in the industry more than met those expectations and I've enjoyed many challenging opportunities to learn and grow. Plus, I know I'm doing my part to make the world a better place." -- Lisa Stiles, Project Manager, Strategic Staffing and Knowledge Management, Dominion Nuclear. -- "The industry needs engineers, technicians and other professionals to support, operate and maintain existing nuclear plants. Moreover, well educated and trained workers are needed for all of the new plants that are being ordered to meet growing energy demand while cutting emissions of carbon dioxide and to conduct research and development on the next generation of reactors. To cultivate job creation and seize on the opportunities ahead, we must invest in our educational infrastructure by strengthening existing educational and training programs while developing new and innovative programs to attract and retain a skilled workforce." -- Gilbert J. Brown, PhD., Professor and Coordinator, Nuclear Engineering Program, University of Massachusetts Lowell -- "The nuclear industry is experiencing growth in both new plant builds and a multitude of exciting, rewarding and diverse job opportunities. Today's young professionals in the nuclear industry are excited to be part of an industry that will not only support long-term career opportunities but also provides the world with clean, safe, and reliable energy and innovative nuclear science & technology solutions." -- Michael Kurzeja, Vice President, North American Young Generation in Nuclear About the Clean and Safe Energy (CASEnergy) Coalition
The CASEnergy Coalition is a grassroots coalition of more than 1,600 members that unites unlikely allies across the business, environmental, academic, consumer and labor community to support nuclear energy. CASEnergy believes that nuclear energy can improve energy security, ensure clean air quality, and enhance the quality of life and economic well-being of all Americans. To learn more about the coalition, please visit http://www.cleansafeenergy.org/ .
The Clean and Safe Energy Coalition
CONTACT: Deborah Nelson for The Clean and Safe Energy Coalition,+1-202-944-3374, Media@CASEnergy.org
Web site: http://www.cleansafeenergy.org/