APR: your source for nuclear news and analysis since April 16, 2010

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

National Nuclear Science Week - Day 2

National Nuclear Science Week - Day 2

Careers in the Nuclear Fields

The update on APR concerning nuclear careers has actually already been in place for several days. All readers, both long time and new are encouraged to look through the newly expanded link list at the right side of every page on Atomic Power Review. Very many new companies have been added to this list - and each of those employs a very wide range of people with very wide educational and operational experience.

When we think about nuclear energy, we think primarily nowadays about safety. What gets left out is the vast number of people employed and involved when a nuclear plant gets built.

Utility companies must contract for everything that has to get built at a nuclear plant which the utility will own and operate; the utility also has to hire and train all the workers at that plant.

Architect-Engineer firms are hired to lay out the whole plant, and design its structures and features.

Contractors are hired to actually perform the construction work, using a massive array of materials both generally available (such as concrete) and specially manufactured by other contractors specifically for the plant.

A reactor vendor (like Westinghouse or General Electric) is responsible for detailed design and fabrication of the nuclear plant itself, often referred to as the Nuclear Steam Supply System (NSSS) or in some quarters the "nuclear island." These vendors also subcontract a massive number of jobs to other companies who fabricate components... such as electric (or in the old days, steam driven) pumps.

Frequently the utility contracts a different vendor than the reactor vendor to supply the electrical portion of the plant, as distinct from the nuclear island.

Radiation Health workers are also employed to monitor the exposure of persons working in the plants, and these workers further require specialized equipment to record exposures.

If we just think briefly about the vast number of trades involved in the above kinds of examples, the vast number of engineers and specialists, we might begin to see that nuclear energy can offer work to a much wider variety of workers than just simply those with a nuclear specific education.

I strongly encourage everyone to browse through the list at right - which is by no means complete - and just think of the wide variety of skills required by nuclear energy. It really is kind of mind blowing!

Tomorrow- the answer to yesterday's secret question!

Don't forget to check today's post on the official NNSW website.

5:05 PM Eastern Tuesday January 24, 2012

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