Home Jobs & Education What Does A Nuclear Engineer Do? – Nuclear Engineering Job Description

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Nuclear engineers are at the forefront of researching and developing the processes used to obtain benefits from nuclear energy and radiation. Engineers in this subfield combine their knowledge of nuclear energy and expertise in nuclear reactions for design, research, development, and construction processes. Does this sound exciting? That’s because it is. Being a nuclear engineer is an extremely fulfilling profession, but not one fit for everybody. Would you like to find out if you’re made to be a nuclear engineer or not? Then take a look at the nuclear engineering job description we’ve prepared for you today!

nuclear engineer in the lab

Nuclear Engineering Job Description

Nuclear engineers work to find industrial uses for nuclear material. This is used for the development of spacecrafts, ships, and agricultural equipment. They also work to develop uses of radioactive materials for medical imaging devices, such as positron emission tomography (PET) scanners. Some also specialize in designing cyclotrons. These provide high energy beams to treat cancerous tumors in the medical field. Nuclear engineers have many responsibilities. Here are a couple of the most important ones!

Nuclear Engineer: Main Duties and Responsibilities

  • Develop and design nuclear equipment: This includes radiation shielding, nuclear reactors, and associated instrumentation.
  • Monitor various nuclear facility operations: Nuclear engineers do this in order to ensure all practices for design and construction comply with safety regulations and government laws.
  • Evaluate nuclear accidents: Apart from doing that, they also collect data. The data can later be used to prevent a similar event from recurring.
  • Create clear operational instructions for nuclear plant operation: Moreover, they also come up with proper procedures for the handling and disposing of radioactive waste.
  • Supervise operations and maintenance activities at nuclear power plants: This is done in order to ensure that everything is running smoothly and according to plan.
  • Conduct studies: The studies can be extremely varied. One example would be studies that are used to determine whether various methods of using nuclear material, reclaiming nuclear energy, or disposing of waste are appropriate and safe.
  • Perform necessary corrective actions: Nuclear engineers do this in order to improve the functioning of the power plant and ensure the safety of both the workers and the public.
  • Respond to emergency situations: Some of these situations might require ordering nuclear plants to shut down.

Where Do Nuclear Engineers Work?

Moving along with our guide on the nuclear engineering job description, we should take a look at where you can get a job as a nuclear engineer. Nuclear engineers often work in private or government-based research and development facilities. Others educate nuclear engineering students at colleges and universities. A third group are also employed at nuclear power plants and factories. These facilities specialize in manufacturing nuclear equipment and weaponry.

What Does It Take to Be a Nuclear Engineer?

Perhaps the most important question someone who wants to become a nuclear engineer must ask is “What does it take to be a nuclear engineer?” Luckily, we have the answer. First of all, you should know that depending on the employment setting, a nuclear engineer job description will typically specialize in something. Some examples would be designing, researching, or developing nuclear equipment in a range of industries. Second of all, regarding education, a bachelor’s degree can lead to entry-level positions in nuclear engineering. However, most nuclear engineers possess an advanced master’s or doctoral degree.

When it comes to skills, nuclear engineers must have strong analysis and problem solving skills. Communication skills and the ability to work well as part of a team are also sought after. That’s because on-site nuclear engineers working on or supervising construction projects collaborate with other specialists and engineers. Some may supervise technicians who are using radiation technology in manufacturing. Nuclear engineers also work closely with scientists. What they do is help them gain more knowledge about the structure and dynamics of matter or energy, as well as come across new ways of using nuclear energy to benefit the world.

Summing Everything Up

The nuclear engineering job description entails a lot of duties, some more challenging than others. Working in this field is not something you can do without giving it all you’ve got. Still, as long as you’re aware of your responsibilities and the contribution you’re bringing to the world, nothing should stop you from becoming the best nuclear engineer you can be.

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