South Carolina State University received nearly $1 million from the National Nuclear Security Administration to assist students in the nuclear engineering field.

Administration representatives presented the money Thursday to leaders at the Orangeburg school. April Hutton-Moorer, director of the universitys nuclear engineering program, said about $641,000 will be used to cover the cost of tuition, books, and other expenses for selected undergraduates in the MOX Scholars program over the next five years.

Those students are enrolled in nuclear, electrical and civil engineering; mechanical engineering technology; and computer science programs.

About $302,000 will be used for a summer program, which over the next three years will expose high school students to careers in the nuclear engineering field.

Students in the MOX Scholars program will have paid summer internships at the MOX fuel fabrication facility, which currently is under construction at the Savannah River Site. When completed, the facility will convert weapons-grade plutonium into fuel that can be used to power commercial reactors.

Hutton-Moorer said S.C. State launched the MOX Scholars program in 2007 with a $654,000, five-year grant from the NNSA.

That money has helped 16 students four still are enrolled at S.C. State and 12 have graduated, she said. Nine of the graduates currently are employed at the MOX facility.

Reach Diane Knich at 937-5491 or on Twitter @dianeknich.