First Joint Cohort of Operator Apprentices Joins SRS

Staff Report

Monday, February 27th, 2023

Three Savannah River Site (SRS) contractors recently collaborated to welcome their first joint cohort of Production Operator Apprentices as part of the Nuclear Fundamentals program, which will provide over 100 trained operators to the Site once the program is completed. The Operator Apprentice program started as a partnership with managing and operating contractor, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS), Aiken Technical College (ATC), Apprenticeship Carolina (AC), and the Lower Savannah Council of Governments (LSCOG).

The eightmonth program simultaneously allows for students to complete their classroom work and on the job training by allowing them to spend two days a week in the classroom and two days a week on Site. At the end of the program, participants will have earned a certificate in nuclear fundamentals. For this round of operator apprentices, SRNS joined with Savannah River Mission Completion (SRMC), the liquid waste contractor at SRS, and the Savannah River National Laboratory to offer over 100 openings for the program. Apprentices will learn the basic qualifications of a production operator, including conduct of operations principles, radiation worker training and qualification and how to perform shift rounds.

Those who successfully complete the program are hired and put to work in areas across SRS. “This is the sixth cohort of Operator Apprentices SRNS has hired and the largest group to date,” said Dr. Dorian Newton, SRNS Program Manager, Apprenticeship School and Pipeline Training. “We are excited to see this program grow and to partner with other Site contractors. This program is beneficial not only to our companies, but to SRS as a whole and to the community.” SRMC also welcomed its largest class of operators in its history with 53 new hires set out to fill key roles in various SRS liquid waste facilities.

“Operators are on the front lines of safely and successfully running the Site’s nuclear facilities,” said Dr. Dave Olson, SRMC President and Program Manager. “Effective and proper training is essential to ensuring our operators possess the critical skills for their jobs. We are thankful for this joint effort with SRNS, Aiken Technical College, and Apprenticeship Carolina to provide the quality training for future SRS operators. These employees have bright futures ahead should they choose to grow in their careers at SRS.”