UW to Host Nuclear Innovation Bootcamp This Summer

The University of Wyoming School of Energy Resources (SER) is set to host the 2024 Nuclear Innovation Bootcamp (NIB) July 21-Aug. 2 in Laramie.

Spearheaded by the Washington, D.C.-based Nuclear Innovation Alliance and hosted by SER’s Nuclear Energy Research Center (NERC), the two-week intensive course brings together a select group of students and early-career professionals from all over the world to equip them with the tools and understanding needed to approach clean energy challenges.

“We are very excited to be the host site for this year’s Nuclear Innovation Bootcamp,” says SER Professor of Law Tara Righetti, co-director of NERC. “University of Wyoming students and professionals were fortunate to participate in last year’s program held in Japan, and we are very pleased to bring such an internationally renowned program of this caliber to Wyoming and share our expertise and learnings in the nuclear sector.”

Once a hub for uranium mining and milling, Wyoming has deep connections with the nuclear industry. The state has experienced a renewed interest with the announcement of TerraPower’s and PacifiCorp’s plan to site a Natrium™ advanced nuclear reactor demonstration project at a retiring coal-fired plant near Kemmerer.

“Wyoming is an ideal location to host the bootcamp,” Righetti says. “With the resurgence of nuclear prospects in the state ranging from uranium mining to opportunities to implement advanced nuclear technologies, Wyoming is positioning itself to be a domestic leader and is building capacity to support a future workforce.”

In the program, NIB participants get the opportunity to forge connections with people from all over the world represented throughout industry, academia and government. A broad array of experience from an expansive network of partners informs the curriculum and helps communicate the role of nuclear power in today’s changing energy landscape, incorporating disciplines including technology, engineering, business, public policy and stakeholder engagement.

Additionally, the short course integrates field tours and industry site visits so participants can experience firsthand the nuances of the energy sector in practice.  

“We are very fortunate to have so many engaged industry partners and state entities that have a sincere interest in integrating nuclear in their decarbonization efforts,” Righetti says. “Participants in this year’s bootcamp will get to see an in-situ uranium mining operation, tour a trona processing facility and visit the planned location of the Natrium™ advanced nuclear reactor.”

In addition to engaging in multidisciplinary classes and workshops, participants work to develop group ventures that are ultimately pitched to industry leaders. Past projects have incorporated a diverse range of topics including technology, marketing, policy and public relations.

NIB also invites bootcamp alumni and other experts in startups, business, nuclear technology and innovation to serve as virtual mentors. Those willing to serve for the 2024 workshop will be assigned to the group to provide guidance and answer questions as needed.

Interested students and early-career professionals are encouraged to apply. The application window is open through Monday, Feb. 26.

Applicants, who can be in any field, must be undergraduate students who are currently in at least their third year; graduate students, including Ph.D. students; or early-career professionals who have been working fewer than five years.

Between 25 and 30 people will be selected for participation. Applications will be evaluated based on the individuals’ demonstrated interest in clean energy innovation and/or business development. Successful applicants will be notified of their selection by email at the end of March.

Additional directions and requirements for participants and mentors are provided at www.nuclearinnovationbootcamp.org/2024-wyoming.