What does a Nuclear Engineer do?
A nuclear engineer designs, maintains, and operates nuclear power plants. They are involved in the research and development of the instruments, processes, and systems use in order to gain the benefits from radiation and nuclear energy.
How to Become a Nuclear Engineer
A nuclear engineer must have a bachelor’s degree in nuclear engineering to secure an entry level job in private industry. In some cases, a master’s degree is wanted and sometimes a PhD. It would be advantageous for a high school student that is considering this career field to begin taking classes in science and math.
Programs for a bachelor’s degree include laboratory, classroom, and field studies. Many colleges and universities have cooperative-education programs that would help pupils get experience while finishing their education. A 5-year program that achieves a bachelor’s and master’s degree can be found in some universities.
A graduate degree provides the opportunity for an engineer to gain experience working as an instructor at a university or be involved in development and research. There are 5-6 year cooperative education programs for one to consider that provides a combination of work and classroom study which may help with the cost of their education.
A master’s and PhD program are made up of laboratory, classroom, and research efforts in engineering principles and advanced mathematics. Completion of a research study is required by working on a private or government research grant in conjunction with a professor.
Job Description of a Nuclear Engineer
A nuclear engineer has direct maintenance or operating activities of nuclear power plants and is responsible for making sure all safety standards are met. They develop nuclear equipment, as well as design equipment that would be used with radiation shielding or reactor cores plus associated instrumentation.
He or she develops instructional manuals that are used in disposing waste or in nuclear plant operations. A nuclear engineer would oversee facility operations to safeguard the facility against any potential law and safety hazards or regulations and other areas of violation in their operational practices.
The nuclear engineer ensures this safety by conducting tests on the facilities methods of waste disposal and their handling of reclaimed nuclear fuel. They would make the decision to shut down a nuclear facility in the event of an emergency and be involved in any corrective action necessary to be sure the plant continues to operate correctly by gathering information and data from any accidents that have occurred and put new designs in place for future preventative problems.
A nuclear engineer works along side electrical engineers and mechanical engineers and incorporate their designs into his or her own design. A nuclear engineer has analytical, math, problem solving, and communication skills. They need to be logical thinkers and be detail oriented.