What do Nuclear Engineers do?

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.

  • Initiate corrective actions or order plant shutdowns in emergency situations.
  • Direct operating or maintenance activities of operational nuclear power plants to ensure efficiency and conformity to safety standards.
  • Monitor nuclear facility operations to identify any design, construction, or operation practices that violate safety regulations and laws or that could jeopardize the safety of operations.
  • Examine accidents to obtain data that can be used to design preventive measures.
  • Design or develop nuclear equipment, such as reactor cores, radiation shielding, or associated instrumentation or control mechanisms.
  • Write operational instructions to be used in nuclear plant operation or nuclear fuel or waste handling and disposal.
  • Prepare construction project proposals that include cost estimates, and discuss proposals with interested parties such as vendors, contractors, and nuclear facility review boards.
  • Perform experiments that will provide information about acceptable methods of nuclear material usage, nuclear fuel reclamation, or waste disposal.
  • Conduct tests of nuclear fuel behavior and cycles or performance of nuclear machinery and equipment to optimize performance of existing plants.
  • Keep abreast of developments and changes in the nuclear field by reading technical journals or by independent study and research.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Synthesize analyses of test results, and use the results to prepare technical reports of findings and recommendations.
  • Design or oversee construction or operation of nuclear reactors or power plants or nuclear fuels reprocessing and reclamation systems.
  • Analyze available data and consult with other scientists to determine parameters of experimentation and suitability of analytical models.
  • Conduct environmental studies related to topics such as nuclear power generation, nuclear waste disposal, or nuclear weapon deployment.
  • Design fuel cycle models or processes to reduce the quantity of radioactive waste generated from nuclear activities.
  • Develop or contribute to the development of plans to remediate or restore environments affected by nuclear radiation, such as waste disposal sites.
  • Direct environmental compliance activities associated with nuclear plant operations or maintenance.
  • Prepare environmental impact statements, reports, or presentations for regulatory or other agencies.

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Necessary Skills

  • Operations Analysis
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Critical Thinking
  • Science
  • Active Listening
  • Active Learning
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics

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