IndyCar Driver Helps Nuclear Energy Leaders Raise Industry Awareness
Southern Nuclear employees received a visit on Thursday, April 4, from the Nuclear Clean Air Energy IndyCar race team, including all-star driver Simona De Silvestro. Several hundred employees attended the event and had their photographs taken next to De Silvestro, who began the racing season with a sixth place finish at St. Petersburg. De Silvestro and the race team were in town to compete in the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at the Barber Motorsports Park.
In addition to chatting about her experience driving the carbon-neutral Nuclear Clean Air Energy race car, De Silvestro spoke with employees about the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education, linking STEM education to the technology behind racing and clean energy.
"A lot of people recognize solar and wind, but don't realize that nuclear power provides the majority of America's clean energy," said De Silvestro at the event. "We need to keep talking to students to help them understand that science, technology, engineering and math are cool."
Steve Kuczynski, president and CEO, Southern Nuclear, said, "We appreciate AREVA, Simona and the Nuclear Clean Air Energy IndyCar race team for spending time with our employees while they were in Birmingham. This was an exciting experience for our employees. The event provided a valuable opportunity to work with an industry partner to increase the awareness and education of nuclear energy while showcasing Simona and the race car."
AREVA, a leader in nuclear energy and a significant, growing player in the renewable energies sector, is a sponsor of the Nuclear Clean Air Energy racecar and arranged the visit to Southern Nuclear. De Silvestro signed with KV Racing Technology for the 2013 IndyCar season last October alongside veteran driver Tony Kanaan.
"The Nuclear Clean Air Energy car is a great vehicle for raising awareness of forward-looking clean energy technologies like nuclear power," said Michael Rencheck, President and Chief Executive Officer, AREVA Inc. "Our partnership with Simona and the Nuclear Clean Air Energy Indy race team facilitates broader public discussions about clean energy and the importance of STEM education for the future of our industry."