Bucking the trend – nuclear industry is hiring thousands

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Although the U.S. economic crisis continues to impact a growing number of companies, the nuclear energy industry is producing thousands of green jobs in advance of new nuclear plant construction.

A new advertisement by the Clean and Safe Energy (CASEnergy) Coalition informs readers of the nuclear energy industryÂ’s role in creating thousands of high-paying green jobs. Currently, more than 70% of U.S. carbon-free energy is generated by nuclear power. The advertisement was published January 6 in Politico, a major Capitol Hill newspaper, and will also run in two other Beltway mainstays, The Hill and Roll Call.

Though 26 new reactor projects are in the early stages of the federal licensing process, the required groundwork prior to construction already has stimulated significant investment and job creation among companies that supply equipment and services to the nuclear industry.

The advertisement points out organizations as diverse as organized labor, consumer groups, environmentalists, health care advocates, business groups, educational institutions and state and community leaders support nuclear energy because of its many benefits, including job creation.

“Chaired by former Gov. Christine Todd Whitman and Dr. Patrick Moore, the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition has brought together more than 1,800 organizations and decision-makers united in the belief that an expanded use of nuclear energy is critical to a secure and low-carbon energy future,” the advertisement says.

According to recent analyses, AREVA, Westinghouse, GE Nuclear Energy, The Shaw Group and Northup Grumman Shipbuilding are among the companies who have already hired hundreds of new workers and are projecting thousands of new hires in 2009 and beyond. On average, construction of a new nuclear power plant represents 1,400-1,800 jobs during construction, with as many as 2,400 jobs at peak construction.

During production, a nuclear power plant represents 400-700 permanent jobs that pay 36% more than average salaries in the surrounding community, and are matched by an equivalent number of jobs in the area to provide goods and services to support the power plant, according to the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI).


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