First Ever Nuclear Decommissioning Minor in U.S. | AIChE

First Ever Nuclear Decommissioning Minor in U.S.


Conference Presentation

Conference Type

AIChE Annual Meeting

Presentation Date

November 15, 2022


21 minutes

Skill Level




The first nuclear decommissioning and environmental management minor offered by any major educational institution in the U.S. is drawing student interest and industry praise as the number of commercial nuclear power plants and government defense facilities slated for shut down and cleanup continues to grow. The focus on nuclear decommissioning is the result of a collaboration among the University of Tennessee, Oak Ridge Associated Universities and UCOR, an Amentum-led partnership with Jacobs and lead Department of Energy contractor for cleanup of the Oak Ridge Reservation in Tennessee.

Developing and maintaining a trained workforce to work in hazardous nuclear environmental cleanup projects is essential to the future. The cleanup industry needs the leaders that the UT program is producing. In Oak Ridge alone, there are jobs for two-plus generations of workers in environmental cleanup. The DOE annual cleanup budget currently is approaching $8 billion. Add to this research and test reactors, uranium recovery sites and fuel cycle facilities and Department of Defense sites, and the number grows by billions more and extends over many decades.


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