Entergy launches “Nuclear Clean Air Energy” national initiative

Source: Entergy Nuclear

Entergy Nuclear announced the launch of the 2011 national education initiative in Baltimore with the unveiling of the #78 “Nuclear Clean Air Energy” car that will compete in the 2011 IZOD INDYCAR Series. It will be driven by Simona De Silvestro of HVM Racing as they team up with Entergy to promote clean, low-cost and reliable nuclear power. 

Notables attending included IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard; Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Baltimore mayor; and executive director for the Baltimore Grand Prix, Jay Davidson. Professionals from the nuclear energy industry were side-by-side to witness the announcement while fans were welcome to view a pit stop demonstration performed by Simona and her experienced HVM pit crew at nearby Camden Yard. The Baltimore Grand Prix will make its debut on the INDYCAR Series Labor Day weekend. 

Entergy is in its fourth year of the “Nuclear Clean Air Energy” national education campaign and its first full year with HVM Racing in the IZOD INDYCAR Series. Having reached millions of people at the race track, across U.S. college campuses and in community events during the past four years, the goal of the “Nuclear Clean Air Energy” initiative is to use the highly visible platform of the IZOD INDYCAR Series to spread the message about the benefits of nuclear energy as a source of virtually carbon-free electricity. In addition to the element of education and public awareness, this campaign assists in recruiting quality engineers and professionals to the nuclear energy sector, an exciting job-growth industry.

“It is an important time for our country to hear our nuclear clean air energy story,” said John Herron, president, CEO and chief nuclear officer, Entergy. “With Simona as a lead spokesperson for our effort, teaming up with HVM and INDYCAR brings visibility to the issue of U.S. energy policy; 

“The IndyCar also provides multiple national opportunities to reach out to families and fans,” Herron said. “Education is key to smarter energy consumers and reaching out through a young role model like Simona couldn’t be better. Having ‘nuclear’ on the side of a race car is as all-American as racing itself, since nuclear energy generates 20% of all electricity in the U.S. already. Entergy wants everyone to learn more and get excited about our reliable, green source of electricity.” 

January 24th kicked off “National Nuclear Science Week” and was chosen as the perfect time to unveil this new partnership. This week provides platforms for learning and exploration of nuclear sciences, careers in the nuclear field, energy generation, nuclear safety and nuclear medicine fields with activities happening across the country in various nuclear sectors. 

Simona, nicknamed the “Swiss Miss” and most often known in the racing world by her first name only, hails from Thun, Switzerland, and enters her sophomore season in the IZOD INDYCAR Series. In 2010 she turned heads at the season-opener in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where she led four laps during her INDYCAR debut and continued to impress throughout the 2010 season, making the “Firestone Fast Six” during numerous qualifications. In addition to her Rookie of the Year title at the 2010 Indy 500, she was also awarded with the Tony Renna Firestone Rising Star award at the end of the year. In 2009, Simona dominated in the Atlantic Championship Series, where she became the first woman in series history to have earned the most wins and pole positions and led the most laps all in a single season. She had nine podium finishes in 12 races. 

"It's pretty special to have a sponsor like Entergy and to have such an important campaign as the 'Nuclear Clean Air Energy' initiative,” said Simona. “My country is 40% powered by nuclear energy so I know that this is a great message. I am looking forward to creating awareness about the benefits of nuclear electricity throughout the racing season and beyond.” 

HVM Racing was founded by Keith Wiggins and is based in Indianapolis, Ind. HVM enters 2011 as its tenth year of competition and has earned six victories, two pole positions, and an additional 16 podiums along with the prestigious “Indianapolis Rookie of the Year” honors with driver Simona De Silvestro at the 2010 event.

Entergy is the second largest owner and operator of U.S. nuclear energy plants. They operate or provide management services to 12 reactors at 10 sites.

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