Nuclear Engineers

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Also known as:  Atomic Process Engineer, Nuclear Engineer, Nuclear Radiation Engineer, Nuclear Steam Supply System Engineer, Radiation Engineer, Reactor Engineer, Reactor Projects Engineer

ABOUT NUCLEAR ENGINEER CAREERS

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT Expand
Tremendous energy is trapped in the nucleus of a tiny atom. Harnessing that energy is the work of nuclear engineers. They search for efficient ways to capture the bursts of energy from a disintegrating atom and put it to use. Nuclear engineers can be found developing numerous applications for nuclea ...
r energy, including power plants for consumer heat and electricity, methods for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases, preservation of food supplies, or sterilization of medical instruments, and systems to power ships and spacecraft.

Nuclear engineers also make sure the atom's awesome power is used with care and that nuclear waste is disposed of safely. The ingredients for success in nuclear engineering include strong aptitudes in physics, chemistry, biology, and mathematics, as well as technical writing and computer programming. A creative approach to problem-solving and a college degree in one of the engineering sciences is also needed.

Since nuclear power is used in aircraft carriers and submarines, naval experience is also a path to this career. The majority of nuclear engineers work for public utilities or engineering consulting firms. Nuclear engineers have to be very responsible people who take great pride and great care in the work that they do.
SNAPSHOT Expand
Conduct research on nuclear engineering projects or apply principles and theory of nuclear science to problems concerned with release, control, and use of nuclear energy and nuclear waste disposal.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
MED
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
MED
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
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DAILY TASKS Expand
Examine accidents to obtain data that can be used to design preventive measures.
Initiate corrective actions or order plant shutdowns in emergency situations.
Design or oversee construction or operation of nuclear reactors or power plants or nuclear fuels reprocessing and reclamation systems.
Perform experiments that will provide information about acceptable methods of nuclear material usage, nuclear fuel reclamation, or waste disposal.
Prepare construction project proposals that include cost estimates, and discuss proposals with interested parties such as vendors, contractors, and nuclear facility review boards.
Recommend preventive measures to be taken in the handling of nuclear technology, based on data obtained from operations monitoring or from evaluation of test results.
Write operational instructions to be used in nuclear plant operation or nuclear fuel or waste handling and disposal.
Analyze available data and consult with other scientists to determine parameters of experimentation and suitability of analytical models.
Synthesize analyses of test results, and use the results to prepare technical reports of findings and recommendations.
Design and direct nuclear research projects to discover facts, to test or modify theoretical models, or to develop new theoretical models or new uses for current models.
Design or develop nuclear equipment, such as reactor cores, radiation shielding, or associated instrumentation or control mechanisms.
MAIN ACTIVITIES Expand
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Analyzing Data or Information Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE Expand
Engineering and Technology Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Physics Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Chemistry Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
Design Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Public Safety and Security Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
KEY ABILITIES Expand
Problem Sensitivity The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Oral Comprehension The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Written Comprehension The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Written Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Inductive Reasoning The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Deductive Reasoning The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Category Flexibility The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
TOP SKILLS Expand
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Operations Analysis Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Science Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Systems Analysis Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
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