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The Nuclear renaissance will drive unprecedented demand for nuclear expertise as the UK’s nuclear industry faces the challenges ahead.

Nuclear power is now seen as a crucial element in the solution to energy supply security, and its renaissance is being driven by the need to reduce carbon emissions and dependence upon hydrocarbons for energy production.

Engineers, scientists, business minds, talented managers and financial experts will all be essential to the future of the sector.

The nuclear sector is diverse, encompassing decommissioning, power generation, processing and defence.

Decommissioning is at the forefront of meeting the commercial and environmental challenges of this sector. The clean up and management of the nuclear legacy is one of the most demanding challenges facing the industry.

Power generation The UK’s nuclear power stations currently account for 18% of the electricity supplied to meet national needs. A growing appetite for clean, safe and reliable energy has led to the commissioning of a new wave of power stations.

Processing and reprocessing nuclear fuel is a rapidly growing part of this sector. The challenges are incredibly varied - from operating commercially in a global market to making new advances in chemical engineering.

Defence plays an important role in the nuclear industry. A build programme of submarines continues alongside the studies to replace the national deterrent. A number of new contracts are being delivered for the Ministry of Defence by various suppliers located throughout the UK, with the work ranging from construction to dock maintenance.

Around 20% of the UK's electricity comes from nuclear power. As an employee in the nuclear industry, you might be responsible for:

  • running nuclear power stations safely and productively
  • fuel reprocessing
  • waste management
  • decommissioning old nuclear power stations
  • radiological protection and safety
  • alternatively, you could also use your knowledge of nuclear technology in designing and building new plants and equipment

Your duties could include:

  • measuring radiation levels
  • planning safe methods of disposing of nuclear waste during decommissioning
  • being responsible for security and safety
  • supervising power station technicians  
  • attending meetings and giving presentations
  • making scheduled checks on machinery and plant
  • finding and fixing faults and recalibrating instruments
  • use computer models to work out the safest and most cost effective production methods
  • turning design ideas into technical plans for prototypes using computer aided design (CAD) or computer aided engineering

other areas, such as:

  • industrial or academic research and development
  • defence, for instance developing and building nuclear-powered submarines for the Royal Navy
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