Overview and Key Facts
Jobs in 2031
What Do They Do?A nuclear engineer could...
Overview Listen to this sectionNuclear engineers harness the power of the atom to help solve large and difficult problems facing humanity. They design power plants that create energy to power homes and businesses without producing greenhouse gases. They develop machines that image the human body and destroy cancer cells, sterilize food and medical equipment, and create new pest or drought-resistant seeds. They work to make the world a better place.
Do You Have the Skills and Characteristics of a Nuclear Engineer?
- Science: ? Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
- 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.
- Complex Problem Solving: ? Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Monitoring: ? Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Reading Comprehension: ? Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Critical Thinking: ? Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Operations Analysis: ? Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
- Writing: ? Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Judgment and Decision Making: ? Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Systems Analysis: ? Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
Core TasksThink about if you'd like the typical tasks a Nuclear Engineer might do:
- Initiate corrective actions or order plant shutdowns in emergency situations.
- 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.
- Design or develop nuclear equipment, such as reactor cores, radiation shielding, or associated instrumentation or control mechanisms.
- Examine accidents to obtain data that can be used to design preventive measures.
- Direct operating or maintenance activities of operational nuclear power plants to ensure efficiency and conformity to safety standards.
- 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.
- Conduct environmental studies related to topics such as nuclear power generation, nuclear waste disposal, or nuclear weapon deployment.
- Direct environmental compliance activities associated with nuclear plant operations or maintenance.
- Prepare environmental impact statements, reports, or presentations for regulatory or other agencies.
- Prepare technical reports of findings or recommendations, based on synthesized analyses of test results.
- Develop or contribute to the development of plans to remediate or restore environments affected by nuclear radiation, such as waste disposal sites.
- Conduct tests of nuclear fuel behavior and cycles or performance of nuclear machinery and equipment to optimize performance of existing plants.
- Design or oversee construction or operation of nuclear reactors or power plants or nuclear fuels reprocessing and reclamation systems.
- Design or direct nuclear research projects to test or modify theoretical models, develop new theoretical models, or discover new uses for current models.
- Design fuel cycle models or processes to reduce the quantity of radioactive waste generated from nuclear activities.
- Consult with other scientists to determine parameters of experimentation or suitability of analytical models.
- Perform experiments that will provide information about acceptable methods of nuclear material usage, nuclear fuel reclamation, or waste disposal.
- Discuss construction project proposals with interested parties, such as vendors, contractors, or nuclear facility review boards.
- Keep abreast of developments and changes in the nuclear field by reading technical journals or by independent study and research.
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