Careers In The Nuclear Industry
The nuclear industry encompasses an extremely diverse set of various types of jobs. Engineers are needed to design solutions to both current and future plants. Mechanics, electricians, and other technicians are needed to maintain plants in ready to operate condition. Additionally, there are other auxiliary services required for tasks such as construction and refueling. The focus of this report will be on nuclear plant operators and technicians. Even within this specialized section of nuclear power careers, there is a large diversity of duties and responsibilities. Careers in this field have ample opportunity for advancement and specialization. There are many signs that the industry will have at least a sustained demand into …show more content…
There, a senior reactor operator observes and directs plant operations to reactor operators also located in the control room. It is a position that requires extensive training and responsibility. Figure 1 below shows the large amount of information and control available to a senior reactor operator.
Figure 1: A Nuclear Power Plant Control Room – MPR News
A senior reactor operator monitors the status of the nuclear reactor and all supporting systems (Nuclear Energy Institute, 2015). From there, decisions can be made about how to control various aspects of the plant to generate electricity. Below are just some of the systems that the senior reactor operator has direct control of:
• Control rods which affect fission activity
• Instrumentation which monitors reactor activity
• Pumps to direct cooling to the reactor
• Cutoff valves to direct steam flow and coolant flow
• Turbine control for output of electricity
• Auxiliary systems to maintain, support and monitor major systems
Becoming a nuclear plant …show more content…
Speculating on current events, demanding a reduction in carbon emissions will require at least a sustained use of nuclear power generation.
The minimum requirement of a high school diploma may be tailored to accommodate prior military personnel with nuclear plant experience. This is hinted by the fact that prior nuclear experience is a co-requirement of high school diploma holders. This would involve either a military path such as the US Navy Nuclear Power program, or starting as a non-licensed auxiliary operator at a nuclear power plant. The small number of people involved (just over 7,000) compared to the population of the US shows that this is an extremely specialized field. Further, Thomas Edison State College offers a degree program that specializes in this field. A mere 58 graduates completed the program for the 2014 graduation year, which puts increased emphasis on the specialized training involved in becoming a nuclear plant operator (Thomas Edison State College,