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Nuclear Fuel Services, Inc.

Erwin, Tennessee

Overview & Mission

Nuclear Fuel Services, Inc. (NFS) manufactures fuel material for all U.S. naval nuclear reactors used in submarines and aircraft carriers. 

NFS also converts Cold War-era government stockpiles of highly enriched uranium (HEU) into material suitable for further processing into commercial nuclear reactor fuel. By converting uranium materials into useful fuel to generate electricity, NFS eliminates a threat to national security while powering the future of clean energy for American consumers and businesses.

The plant is one of two locations that is licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to store and process HEU. NFS understands the need to maintain and protect this extremely valuable material and has a rigorous safety program and a highly trained security force at the facility.

Recent Accomplishments

  • Awarded a $57.5 million contract from the National Nuclear Security Administration to prepare for future HEU conversion and purification services.
  • Awarded a contract valued at $505 million for the downblending of 20.2 metric tons of HEU to produce low enriched uranium (LEU).

Workforce

NFS has more than 1,200 individuals on site daily including NFS employees, security personnel and contract workers. The skilled labor workforce is represented by the United Steel Workers (Local 9-677).

Environment, Safety & Health

NFS is committed to protecting its employees, the public and the environment by limiting potential industrial, chemical or radiological exposure.

The company works closely with the NRC to limit radiological, chemical or other hazards to the environment, its workers or the public to “as low as reasonably achievable” (ALARA).

The NRC has stationed one full-time, independent NRC inspector at the plant because of NFS’ important mission. The NRC inspector reviews and oversees environmental and safety performance of workers and equipment.

Economic Impact

NFS is the largest employer in Unicoi County, Tennessee, and provides approximately $160 million in annual payroll and benefits to employees and contract personnel in security, engineering and other technical fields.

Corporate Citizenship

Annually, NFS and its employees generously contribute more than $80,000 to local United Way organizations and the Unicoi School’s Adopt-A-School literacy program that was established by NFS many years ago.

In addition to United Way and Adopt-A-School, NFS makes regular donations to 25 charitable, non-profit or educational organizations to improve health and quality-of-life opportunities for local residents. Some of these organizations include the Niswonger Children’s Hospital, Second Harvest Food Bank, Unicoi County Imagination Library, Langston Education & Arts Development Center and Clinchfield Senior Adult Citizen Center.

Employees and their families also participate in annual volunteer activities to support local charitable and educational organizations with supplies and hands-on physical labor for much needed projects that would go undone otherwise.

NFS funds several scholarships through the Monroe Foundation, Milligan College and Northeast State Community College. In addition to the scholarship at Milligan College, NFS committed $100,000 to help Milligan start and grow its engineering program, a first of a kind in the Tri-Cities area.

The Speakers Bureau, powered by employee volunteers and coordinated by the NFS Communications department, supports events at schools, colleges and universities. The goal is to make learning fun and to generate interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) activities.

Employee Recruitment Activities

NFS is an active participant in many community events, and both local and regional career fairs. We are also involved in a number of other recruiting events and career fairs within a several hour radius of Erwin, Tennessee.

Career Fairs and Conferences

  • East Tennessee State University (ETSU) Career Fairs
  • ETSU Equity & Inclusion Conference
  • Northeast State Career Fair
  • North Carolina State University Career Fair
  • University of Kentucky Engineering Career Fair
  • Tuskegee University Career Fair
  • University of Alabama Birmingham Engineering Career Fair
  • National Society of Black Engineers Career Fair
  • Tennessee Tech Career Fair

Partnerships

  • Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers
  • National Society of Black Engineers
  • ETSU - Multicultural Center, Disability Services & Veterans Affairs
  • Milligan College Engineering
  • Roane State Community College
  • Tennessee College of Applied Technology
  • North Carolina A&T Alumni Associations
  • INROADS
  • Thurgood Marshall College Fund
  • National Society of Black Engineers Chapters at Tennessee Tech and ETSU
  • Society of Hispanic Professionals Chapters at North Carolina A&T, Tennessee Tech, University of Tennessee & Vanderbilt University
  • American Institute of Chemical Engineers at North Carolina State
  • Engineers without Borders at North Carolina State
  • Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers at North Carolina State