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Nuclear securityAlabama State launches Nuclear Academy

Published 1 October 2013

A new academy at Alabama State University (ASU) will enhance security at nuclear, electric, and green-energy power installations across the United States and abroad. The new academy will provide comprehensive training for current and future security professionals who will offer infrastructure protection services to nuclear, electric and green-energy power installations.

Alabama State University has teamed with Charlotte, North Carolina-based security services company Total Protection Services (TPS) to launch a nuclear protection academy (the Academy or NuclearPro) to train and educate nuclear and energy facility security professionals worldwide.

The ASU and TPS public/private sector partnership was announced by ASU Board of Trustees chairman Elton N. Dean after the vote and approval of the Board. An ASU release reports that this is a first-of-its-kind initiative to provide comprehensive training for current and future security professionals who will offer infrastructure protection services to nuclear, electric and green-energy power installations.

The new ASU Academy aims to enhance the protection of nuclear and energy power plants across the United States and in other energy-producing countries.

The initiative is in response to the events of 9/11 and other global crises that have created an increased demand for both private and public sector safety and security, said Phrantceena Halres, TPS chairwoman.

“Today’s standardized security training just isn’t getting done well enough outside of the largest federal agencies and the military. There is no true industry standard for security instructional programs,” Halres said.

She said that many of TPS’s security specialists are recruited directly from the ranks of the U.S. military, law enforcement agencies, and the nuclear security industry and government security services.

TPS’s partnership with ASU will provide it and other security nuclear companies with a steady pipeline of highly trained security professionals, while also providing ASU students and other enrollees with unique career placement opportunities, Dean said.

“Our partnership with TPS is another demonstration of ASU’s 146 years of dedication and commitment to progress, promise, excellence, and service to America. It will help the University become the recognized educational leader in this pivotal area of national security,” Dean said.

Nuclear power industry embraces ASU Academy
In a letter to the ASU Board of Trustees earlier this month, Stephen Kuczynski, chairman, CEO and president of Southern Nuclear Operating Company Inc., expressed his company’s support for the Academy. Kuczynski said that TPS plays “a vital role in protecting our nation’s most critical infrastructures, including nuclear power plants. Halres has learned a great deal working in the nuclear industry about how to protect critical infrastructures and has designed the Nuclear Pro Academy as a vital resource to continue the education of nuclear security practitioners.”

Constellation Energy Nuclear Group, the nuclear power generation partner of EDF (America’s top provider of electrical power), also lauded the establishment of the Academy. Henry B. Barron, president and chief executive officer of the Constellation Energy Nuclear Group, informed ASU trustees this month that Constellation looks forward to working with ASU and TPS “to make NuclearPro a preeminent training facility for security practitioners nationally and abroad.”

NuclearPro to be located on ASU’s campus
The release notes that NuclearPro will be housed on the ASU campus and will be operated by TPS. When launched, online registration will be available for classes at TPS’s headquarters in Charlotte, North Carloina, and at ASU. Customized on-site security training also will be available for individuals and businesses in the U.S. and abroad.

ASU graduate Corenthis B. Kelley, who served the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission as director of the Office of Small Business and Civil Rights until her retirement at the end of 2011, will spearhead the University’s efforts to ensure the long-term financial viability of the program. Classes are planned to begin in August 2014 at the Charlotte, N.C., and ASU locations with monthly classes following.