IndyCar Driver Helps Nuclear Energy Leaders Raise Industry Awareness

Apr 08, 2013, 11:51 ET from Southern Company

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., April 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern Nuclear employees received a visit on Thursday, April 4, from the Nuclear Clean Air Energy IndyCar race team, including all-star driver Simona De Silvestro. Several hundred employees attended the event and had their photographs taken next to De Silvestro, who began the racing season with a sixth place finish at St. Petersburg. De Silvestro and the race team were in town to compete in the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at the Barber Motorsports Park.

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In addition to chatting about her experience driving the carbon-neutral Nuclear Clean Air Energy race car, De Silvestro spoke with employees about the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education, linking STEM education to the technology behind racing and clean energy.

"A lot of people recognize solar and wind, but don't realize that nuclear power provides the majority of America's clean energy," said De Silvestro at the event. "We need to keep talking to students to help them understand that science, technology, engineering and math are cool."

Steve Kuczynski, president and CEO, Southern Nuclear, said, "We appreciate AREVA, Simona and the Nuclear Clean Air Energy IndyCar race team for spending time with our employees while they were in Birmingham. This was an exciting experience for our employees. The event provided a valuable opportunity to work with an industry partner to increase the awareness and education of nuclear energy while showcasing Simona and the race car."

AREVA, a leader in nuclear energy and a significant, growing player in the renewable energies sector, is a sponsor of the Nuclear Clean Air Energy racecar and arranged the visit to Southern Nuclear. De Silvestro signed with KV Racing Technology for the 2013 IndyCar season last October alongside veteran driver Tony Kanaan.

"The Nuclear Clean Air Energy car is a great vehicle for raising awareness of forward-looking clean energy technologies like nuclear power," said Michael Rencheck, President and Chief Executive Officer, AREVA Inc. "Our partnership with Simona and the Nuclear Clean Air Energy Indy race team facilitates broader public discussions about clean energy and the importance of STEM education for the future of our industry."

Follow the results of De Silvestro and the race team on Twitter @simdesilvestro, on Facebook at, or on her website at  Learn more about nuclear energy from NEI at

About Southern Nuclear:
Southern Nuclear, a subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), is one of the nation's leading nuclear energy facility operators. Producing safe, reliable and environmentally friendly nuclear energy, Southern Nuclear operates a total of six units for Alabama Power and Georgia Power at the Joseph M. Farley Nuclear Plant near Dothan, Ala.; the Edwin I. Hatch Nuclear Plant near Baxley, Ga., and the Alvin W. Vogtle Electric Generating Plant near Waynesboro, Ga. Southern Nuclear is the licensee of two new nuclear units currently under construction at Plant Vogtle, which will be the first nuclear units constructed in the United States in more than 30 years. Southern Nuclear employs more than 3,500 skilled and dedicated professionals who are committed each day to nuclear and personal safety and the health and safety of the public. The company's headquarters is based in Birmingham, Ala. Twitter: @SouthernNuclear. Facebook:

About Southern Company: With 4.4 million customers and more than 43,000 megawatts of generating capacity, Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is the premier energy company serving the Southeast through its subsidiaries. A leading U.S. producer of clean, safe, reliable and affordable electricity, Southern Company owns electric utilities in four states and a growing competitive generation company, as well as fiber optics and wireless communications. Southern Company brands are known for energy innovation, excellent customer service, high reliability and retail electric prices that are below the national average. Southern Company and its subsidiaries are leading the nation's nuclear renaissance through the construction of the first new nuclear units to be built in a generation of Americans and are demonstrating their commitment to energy innovation through the development of a state-of-the-art coal gasification plant. Southern Company has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Defense and G.I. Jobs magazine as a top military employer and listed by DiversityInc as a top company for Blacks. The company received the 2012 Edison Award from the Edison Electric Institute for its leadership in new nuclear development, was named Electric Light & Power magazine's Utility of the Year for 2012 and is continually ranked among the top utilities in Fortune's annual World's Most Admired Electric and Gas Utility rankings. Visit our website at

About AREVA AREVA provides its customers with solutions for low-carbon power generation in North America and all over the world. As the leader in nuclear energy and a significant, growing player in the renewable energies sector, AREVA combines U.S. and Canadian leadership, access to worldwide expertise and a proven track record of performance. Sustainable development is a core component of AREVA's strategy. Its nearly 5,000 U.S. and Canadian employees work every day to make AREVA a responsible industrial player helping to supply ever cleaner, safer and more economical energy to the greatest number of people. AREVA Inc. is headquartered in Charlotte, NC. Visit us online at and follow us on Twitter: @AREVAinc.


SOURCE Southern Company