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Nuclear Education Programs are Back

Anticipating our country's increased need for energy, many colleges and universities are reviving nuclear education programs.�� These institutions are working directly with energy companies to develop nuclear education curriculum for students.

Virginia Commonwealth University started a nuclear track to its master's of engineering program in 2007, after officials with Richmond-based energy provider Dominion approached the school with concerns about an anticipated shortage of engineers, said Russ Jamison, VCU's engineering dean.

The bulk of the program's 20 students are Dominion employees who are taking courses taught by mechanical- and electrical-engineering professors and Dominion engineers and scientists who are "more than qualified to teach the nuclear engineering power-generation courses for us," Jamison said.

An aging workforce in this field is what has prompted a restart of many nuclear education and engineering programs.�� Grants from the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission would help to fund these programs at various universities and colleges throughout the United States.

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