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Offline captain hank

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questions about the nuclear industry
« on: Jun 13, 2024, 06:16 »
So, i'm soon to be a freshman in college. The hope is to go to graduate school, get my Ph. D., and use that for a power plant operator (if possible) or maybe a medical physicist. The real question I have about the industry is what exactly is it like? Is it rewarding, boring, fun, some other adjective i'm not listing? Is it a good idea to even go into the nuclear sector? Also, what is it like health-wise (such as insurance, if regular check-ups are required, overall safety of the sector0?

Offline Marlin

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Re: questions about the nuclear industry
« Reply #1 on: Jun 13, 2024, 06:58 »
So, i'm soon to be a freshman in college. The hope is to go to graduate school, get my Ph. D., and use that for a power plant operator (if possible) or maybe a medical physicist. The real question I have about the industry is what exactly is it like? Is it rewarding, boring, fun, some other adjective i'm not listing? Is it a good idea to even go into the nuclear sector? Also, what is it like health-wise (such as insurance, if regular check-ups are required, overall safety of the sector0?

Well first for a freshman you may change your mind on your major while in college, that is common. My daughter changed hers a couple of times. Nuclear engineering is a mix of several disciplines a major in a more focused degree that can be used elsewhere may be more beneficial: mechanical, electrical, computer sciences etc. Operators do not need a PHD but there is a continuous need for them at the national labs. As for rewarding that depends on the position you have operations is just one out of many in a power plant. Power plants are an industrial environment, the labs are more of a campus environment again depending on position. Good luck and hopefully you will get more input from others here on NukeWorker.

Offline Coaster

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Re: questions about the nuclear industry
« Reply #2 on: Jul 09, 2024, 03:07 »
I'll assume you're talking specifically about Operations. If you are, I'll say that I enjoy it. There's tons of stuff to learn and it can definitely be rewarding, especially financially ;). Less often it can also be boring and sometimes stressful. Know that you'll be working rotating day/night shifts and some holidays and weekends depending on your schedule. It is nice getting weekdays off, though.

As already mentioned, you absolutely do not need a PhD to be a reactor operator. In fact, you don't even need a degree. But if you do end up going for at least a nuclear engineering bachelor's, it's possible to get hired as a Senior Reactor Operator (think: supervisor/manager) right out of college.

As far as health stuff goes, it's a very safe industry. Almost all of the popular conceptions about nuclear power & its safety are wrong. The insurance my company offers is decent enough and every year we get a medical checkup that includes urine, blood, eyes & hearing tests.

I really have no idea what the general future of the industry will be, but if you can find an opening for a plant that has its operating license for the next 10+ years I'd say definitely go for it.

 


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