Assistant Nuclear Energy Secretary to Visit CFCC’s Training Facilities

WILMINGTON – Dr. Warren “Pete” Miller, assistant secretary for nuclear energy at the U.S. Department of Energy, will visit Cape Fear Community College on Monday, September 20.

During the visit, Dr. Miller will tour CFCC’s nuclear maintenance technology program facility and meet with faculty and students in the program.

Located at CFCC’s North Campus, the college’s nuclear program is designed to train students to work as nuclear technicians to maintain nuclear reactors and related equipment.

The program was established in partnership with GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy and Granite International and is designed to prepare students as nuclear maintenance technicians during outages at nuclear power plants.

The college’s curriculum is combined with practical experience at nuclear plants during outages and with specialized training at GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy’s facilities in San Jose, California and Wilmington. Upon completing the curriculum with the initial outage experience and specialized training, qualified students will supplement electric utility technical staff at nuclear power stations in performing mechanical, electrical, and electronic services during plant maintenance and refueling outages.

Course work includes mathematics, science, English, and introductory courses in automation, computers, instrumentation, electricity, hydraulics, mechanics, metallurgy, quality control, and welding. Nuclear-related courses include reactor physics, boiling water reactor technology, and non-destructive examination of nuclear plant piping, vessels and other components.

Graduates continue their employment with Granite International and can pursue advancement through additional specialized and on-the-job training.

Dr. Miller was nominated by President Barack Obama as the Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy in June of 2009, and confirmed by the Senate in August. As Assistant Secretary, Dr. Miller is responsible for all programs and activities of the Office of Nuclear Energy.

Before becoming Assistant Secretary, Dr. Miller was a Research Professor in the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Associate Director of the Nuclear Security Science and Policy Institute at Texas A&M University.

A native of Chicago, Dr. Miller is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy. He served in Vietnam where he earned a U.S. Army Bronze Star and a Commendation Medal.

After his military service he received a PhD in nuclear engineering from Northwestern University. After two years as an assistant professor there, he began his career at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in Los Alamos, New Mexico.  His first research interest was in the area of Reactor and Transport Theory. Over the course of his 27-year career at LANL, Dr. Miller held a variety of leadership positions, including Associate Laboratory Director for Energy Programs, as well as for Physics and Mathematics. As Associate Lab Director, he supervised the work of 2000 scientists. He also served as Senior Research Advisor, with the responsibility of deciding which research projects to pursue, recruiting the talent to pursue them, and providing the facilities to enable success.

Dr. Miller is the author of many research papers and journal articles, including, with a colleague, the book Computational Methods of Neutron Transport, published in 1984, which became a standard textbook for engineering students around the world.

Dr. Miller was elected as a Fellow of the American Nuclear Society in 1982, and to membership in the National Academy of Engineering in 1996.