Nuclear Engineer Career

Job Description: 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.


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Nuclear Engineer Career

What Nuclear Engineers do:

  • Keep abreast of developments and changes in the nuclear field by reading technical journals or by independent study and research.
  • 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.
  • Design fuel cycle models or processes to reduce the quantity of radioactive waste generated from nuclear activities.
  • Discuss construction project proposals with interested parties, such as vendors, contractors, or nuclear facility review boards.
  • Examine accidents to obtain data that can be used to design preventive measures.
  • Initiate corrective actions or order plant shutdowns in emergency situations.
  • Prepare technical reports of findings or recommendations, based on synthesized analyses of test results.
  • Conduct tests of nuclear fuel behavior and cycles or performance of nuclear machinery and equipment to optimize performance of existing plants.
  • Consult with other scientists to determine parameters of experimentation or suitability of analytical models.
  • Design or develop nuclear equipment, such as reactor cores, radiation shielding, or associated instrumentation or control mechanisms.
  • Design or oversee construction or operation of nuclear reactors or power plants or nuclear fuels reprocessing and reclamation systems.
  • 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.
  • Perform experiments that will provide information about acceptable methods of nuclear material usage, nuclear fuel reclamation, or waste disposal.
  • Develop or contribute to the development of plans to remediate or restore environments affected by nuclear radiation, such as waste disposal sites.
  • Prepare environmental impact statements, reports, or presentations for regulatory or other agencies.
  • Design or direct nuclear research projects to test or modify theoretical models, develop new theoretical models, or discover new uses for current models.
  • Direct environmental compliance activities associated with nuclear plant operations or maintenance.

What work activities are most important?

Importance Activities

Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Communicating with Persons Outside Organization - Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

Provide Consultation and Advice to Others - Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

Scheduling Work and Activities - Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment - Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.

Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.

Developing and Building Teams - Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

Developing Objectives and Strategies - Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.

Controlling Machines and Processes - Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).

Performing Administrative Activities - Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.

Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates - Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.

Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

Holland Code Chart for a Nuclear Engineer