Senate passes "game-changer" for Washington nuclear industry

The state Senate approved two nuclear education procedural measures last week that aim to attract greater economic development within Washington along with the associated industry jobs.

Sponsored by Sen. Sharon Brown (R-Kennewick), Senate Bill 5093 would create a nuclear science curriculum to assist science educators in grades eight through 12. The program would award grants for classroom visitors who can launch nuclear science and technology programs and for science teachers to attend industry workshops.

“Knowledge is power, and this is especially true when it comes to nuclear energy,” Brown said. “One way to ensure that young people, who will work on next-generation nuclear technology and benefit from the power it produces, understand nuclear energy is to introduce them to our many great scientists, engineers and others who work in the nuclear field.”

Brown, a member of the Senate’s energy committee and the legislature’s leading advocate for nuclear power, referred to the Nuclear Ambassadors Program as a “game-changer” for state’s nuclear future.

“Meeting the 21st-century environmental and energy challenges faced by the families and employers of the Pacific Northwest will require a workforce trained in next-generation technology,” Brown said.. “If we want Washington’s students to be able to compete for these high-paying jobs, we have to start introducing them to nuclear science and technology early on and nurturing their interest in this growing field.

Both measures will now head to the House of Representatives.