Newman Wachs team launches Nuclear initiative in Florida
Newman Wachs Racing, The Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), and Entergy Nuclear have teamed up once again for the 2009 Cooper Tires Presents the Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda.
NWR and NEI joined in 2008 with Entergy Nuclear in the “Nuclear. Clean Air Energy” public awareness program, designed to educate fans and consumers about the carbon-free production of electricity at 104 nuclear power plants across America.
The Nuclear Energy Institute is the policy organization of the nuclear energy and technologies industry and participates in both the national and global policy-making process. NEI’s objective is to ensure the formation of policies that promote the beneficial uses of nuclear energy and technologies in the United States and around the world. Entergy is the second largest owner and operator of U.S. nuclear energy plants, and this year was named one of the top 10 corporate citizens in the United States by Corporate Responsibility Officer magazine.
Nuclear energy produces electricity for 80 million U.S. homes, or about 20 percent of total electricity used in America, without producing air pollution or greenhouse gases.
Mike Kansler, Entergy Nuclear President, CEO and Chief Nuclear Officer:
“With clean energy being at the forefront of national policy and public concern these days, we are working together with NEI and Newman Wachs Racing to tell the story of safe, clean and affordable electricity through nuclear power,” stated Mike Kansler, president, chief executive officer and chief nuclear officer at Entergy Nuclear. “Public support is growing for nuclear energy, and Entergy is proud to lead the way.”
Along with the goal of making the public more aware of environmentally clean ways to produce energy comes the use of the motorsports arena to aid recruiting efforts to college and university students about the possibilities for careers in the growing nuclear power industry.
Recruitment of the future work force is a major focus for the U.S. nuclear energy industry. Several factors are driving this. About half of the nuclear industry's work force will be eligible to retire during the next 10 years. Along with plans for industry growth, the expected attrition of a large portion of the industry’s total work force has prompted an unprecedented recruitment effort throughout the industry. As the nuclear energy industry prepares to build new reactors, it has hired 15,000 new workers in the last three years alone.
NWR has created an innovative program with Entergy and NEI to aid in the industry’s recruiting efforts. The first event for 2009 will be this year’s American Nuclear Society Student Conference, April 1-5 in Gainesville, Florida. NWR drivers John Edwards and Markus Niemela will be ambassadors for the 2009 recruiting effort. Edwards along with his Swift 016 “Nuclear. Clean Air Energy” race car will attend the conference held at the University of Florida and will be on hand to discuss both the NWR team’s success as the 2009 racing season gets underway and opportunities for professionals in the nuclear energy industry.
Edwards, at just 18, won the season-opening Atlantic race in Sebring, Florida, on March 20. Niemela, at 25, is the reigning Atlantic Champion and returns to the Atlantic Series with NWR in 2009 to defend his title.
Scott Peterson, Vice President, Nuclear Energy Institute:
“At a time when students across college campuses have a lot of concern about getting into the work force, nuclear engineers are in great demand as the nation begins designing and building advanced nuclear power plants,” said Scott Peterson, vice president at the Nuclear Energy Institute. “We will need a tremendous amount of new electricity production across the U.S. during the next 20 years while significantly reducing the greenhouses gases from all industry. Nuclear energy doesn’t produce any greenhouse gases during the production of electricity and it will be an important part of the solution to our energy and environmental challenges. Because of that, there will be tens of thousands of career-long jobs created in our industry to design, build and operate reactors that will provide power for future generations.”
Eddie Wachs, Team Owner, Newman Wachs Racing:
“When NEI and Entergy formed a relationship with NWR it was during a period early in what has now been named the ‘Renaissance of Nuclear Power.’ Since then, we have seen a significant increase in interest from nuclear power companies and the general public alike. Today, the majority of Americans believe that we should expand the use of nuclear energy in America. The renaissance has begun. There is no question we will see a new nuclear involvement in the U.S. to match what many other countries are doing in the rest of the World. This is all good. We can’t take the credit for this, but Paul Newman was and I am a big advocate of nuclear energy. If Paul were here today he’d be standing right beside me as we continue to support this important initiative.”
Newman Wachs Racing heads into its fourth year of competition in the Cooper Tires Presents the Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda in 2009. In its three years of competition, NWR has earned 1 pole position, 4 victories, 7 podium finishes, and 11 top-fives.