The Bright Future in Energy Scholarship Competition is now open!

INL’s Bright Future in Energy Scholarship Competition recognizes and awards 11th and 12th grade students who are interested in pursuing a college or university education focused on science, technology, engineering or math. INL expects to award $25,000 in scholarships to multiple winners and runners-up.

Participating students will research one of the five prompts below and prepare a presentation to present virtually to a panel of INL judges April 25 – 29, 2022. To be eligible for consideration, students must submit their presentations by April 20.

2022 Bright Future in Energy Scholarship Prompts:

  1. How do the actual risks and benefits of nuclear energy compare with other existing energy technologies and those that will be part of the world’s Net-Zero future?
  2. How do we help people understand the importance of nuclear energy to reaching a Net-zero future powered solely by new green energy technologies?
  3. How do we develop a truly sustainable recycling method? In other words, one that is economically feasible, environmentally responsible and socially justifiable?
  4. How do we develop a process that will allow for the extraction and refinement of rare earth elements and other critical resources needed to power the move towards a Net-zero future, while taking into consideration the future impacts on people, wildlife and the environment?
  5. How do we understand and communicate these risks effectively, share information and best practices and create greater cyber awareness in our schools, communities and industry?

To apply to compete:

Click Here

To submit a presentation:

Click Here


Congratulations to the winners of the 2020 Bright Future in Nuclear Scholarship Competition!

First place: Sarah Cole

sarah coleSarah is a senior at Mountain View High School in Meridian, Idaho. She will receive a $4,000 scholarship for her presentation addressing the question: “How can nuclear energy compete economically with energy sources that don’t have to pay for the waste they generate?”

Based on the research she did, she said the industry should 1) reprocess its spent fuel, 2) open a permanent waste repository, and 3) develop advanced reactors and small modular reactors.

With advanced reactors poised to reduce the amount of spent fuel at power plants around the nation, “It makes sense to have one federal repository,” she said.

Sarah hasn’t decided where she wants to go to school or what she plans to major in, mentioning biological, materials science, chemical and nuclear engineering all as possibilities.

Second Place: Andrew Guillen

APG SeniorA senior at Thunder Ridge High School in Idaho Falls, Andrew will receive a $2,500 scholarship for his response to the prompt: “Identify the biggest challenge to expanding nuclear in the United States energy portfolio; propose a solution.”

In his presentation, Andrew recapped the familiar obstacles facing nuclear energy before moving to a more optimistic note. New passively safe designs can prevent or limit the severity of accidents. Digital engineering uses models instead of manual integration of data, resulting in notable risk reductions on construction cost and schedule.

Already training to be an EMT, he plans to start studying at Idaho State University to become a paramedic and ultimately an emergency room physician.