Rob writes a weekly outdoors column and covers energy, environmental and nuclear issues (and lots of other topics) for the metro section. He has been an avid angler and hunter ever since he realized he had neither the aptitude nor the desire to take up golf. He has been a full-time journalist for 28 years, including 11 years as bureau chief in Columbia County. Before joining The Chronicle, he worked at newspapers in Columbia, S.C., and West Palm Beach, Fla. He has edited or authored three reference books on antique fishing tackle; and his freelance work has appeared in Field & Stream, Gray’s Sporting Journal and Georgia Outdoor News. He lives in Evans.
Posted November 18, 2010 09:58 am - Updated November 18, 2010 10:06 am

Looking for future nuclear professionals? Check out Evans High School.

I had the pleasure of sitting in on last night's 19th annual Edward Teller Lecture and Banquet organized by the Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness.


I was mainly there to cover a speech by Hyperion Power CEO Grizz Deal about plans to use Savannah River Site as a venue to build, demonstrate and eventually market a new breed of small commercial nuclear power reactors. It made an interesting news story, even if such a program is many years away.


But there was other news worth mentioning as well.


One of the annual projects undertaken by the pro-nuclear CNTA group is an essay contest in which high school students from across the region compete by exploring issues like foreign nuclear power programs, nuclear isotopes in medicine and the value of nuclear technology to the world's food supply.

Of the five winners, four of them - Jackie Rodrigues, Aubrie Fleming, Christina Sndter and Monica Ridlehoover - were all from Evans High School out here in Columbia County. The fifth, Genna Wyrick, was from Lexington (S.C.) High School.


That's a lot of potential human capital from one school, where they must be doing something right in terms of advancing interest in science, math and technology. Each student, by the way, will receive a $1,000 scholarship to whatever college they attend. And their school will receive a $500 award, too, meaning Evans will receive a total of $2,000 for its programs.


Another part of the group's annual gathering involves naming the recipient of the Fred C. Davison Distinguished Scientist Award. This year's honoree was Dr. Robert Sindelar of Savannah River National Laboratory, whose quarter-century of service has made him one of the world's leading experts in nuclear fuels and nuclear fuel management.


Also honored were two recipients of the Robert Maher Memorial Scholarship winners: Candice Hampton of S.C. State University and Ryan Harris of Clemson University. Each winner will receive a $5,000 scholarship.