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La Liga de Las Americas

Terra to restart nuclear power program

Fremont: The year was 1975 and, with the construction of the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station near Oak Harbor, Ohio underway, nuclear power was coming to Northwest Ohio.

Known as Terra Technical College back then, the old Cedar Street campus welcomed students into a new nuclear power technician program. And many of those graduates went on to man the Davis-Besse facility.

Bob Biddinger, Associate Professor in Industrial Electricity, left, and Kent Widmer, a Terra student from Oak Harbor majoring in PLC Controls, work on analyzing a wave form on a oscilloscope in Electricity I.

It’s now three decades later and that wave of technicians is set to retire. With no nuclear power programs in the immediate area, FirstEnergy, the parent company of Davis-Besse, was looking to the near future and seeing a shortage of qualified technicians. Terra, now a community college located on Napoleon Road, is once again prepared to assist First Energy fill their employment needs.

The Nuclear Power Program will begin again in January, and Terra and First Energy will host an informational meeting Dec. 7, 2006 at Terra to explain the program.

A representative from FirstEnergy will describe the job opportunities at Davis-Besse as well as industry wide. He will also explain how the program will work. FirstEnergy will select several students to receive tuition and books, but students not selected for those awards can still enroll in the program at their own expense.

Representatives from Terra will explain the application process and financial aid.

A cohort group will start in January and complete four semesters including a paid summer internship in the 2007 session. They will take chemistry, physics, electricity, English, math and seven nuclear power courses. They will receive common core knowledge for operations, maintenance, instrumentation and controls, and health and safety.

The meeting is open to the public. It will begin at 7:00 p.m. Dec. 7 in Building B, Room 101, Terra Community College, 2830 Napoleon Road, Fremont. For more information, call the Engineering and Industrial Technologies Division at 419-559-2410.

Editor’s Note: FirstEnergy has a similar nuclear power program with Lakeland Community College in Kirtland, but the following statistics, offered by FirstEnergy, show the need for more educational opportunities: The U.S. nuclear industry could lose 23,000 workers – 40 percent of all jobs in the sector – over the next five years through retirements; in the related area of radiological safety, or Health Physics, the number of openings outstrips the number of candidates by 130 percent; within three to five years, 300 to 500 of FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company’s (FENOC) 2,700 employees will be eligible for retirement; and FENOC hired more than 100 new employees last year and will hire about 240 this year.





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