POCATELLO, Idaho - For students hoping to work in the nuclear engineering field, the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission is giving Idaho State University College of Technology's Energy Systems Technology and Education Center a $150,000 grant going toward scholarships.
The ESTEC program said the grant is aimed at helping more students afford to attend the program.
ESTEC director Lawrence Beaty said because more students are having trouble affording college mixed with the high-intensity of the program, he is seeing a shortage of students going into the nuclear industry.
"We are retiring more people than graduating," Beaty said. "As an industry, we have a challenge, too. Our challenge is that we have to do everything we do better. We have to be cleaner, we have to be more efficient, we have to be more reliable, and we have to be safer than we have ever been before."
Beaty also said the industry needs these students in the program to help push innovation in the industry forward.
Right now, he said ESTEC works closely with the Idaho National Laboratory, with many of his students graduating from his program and then heading-out to work for the I.N.L. shortly afterward.
Beaty said there are 15 scholarships available, with each student receiving $8,000 to pay for a total of four semesters.