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Insights What do you do as a nuclear engineer?

What is nuclear engineering? 

Nuclear engineering is a discipline that combines principles of physics, materials science, and engineering to harness and manage the powerful energy released through nuclear reactions, with a focus on applications such as electricity generation. 

Our nuclear engineering team at AtkinsRéalis makes it possible for generations to experience the benefits of nuclear. This is a unique opportunity to work with the latest technologies, create cleaner, more sustainable nuclear energy solutions, and progress your career to new heights. 

Learn more about the responsibilities of a nuclear engineer, career paths you can pursue in this discipline, and more. 

What does a nuclear engineer do: Responsibilities

Depending on your specific role or specialization in the nuclear engineering space, your responsibilities and day-to-day tasks will vary but here are some general responsibilities: 

  • Nuclear design - design and improve nuclear reactors, with a primary emphasis on safety, efficiency, and reliability. This includes creating reactor cores, cooling systems, and control mechanisms.
  • Nuclear safety - assess and ensure the safety of nuclear power stations, facilities and operations. They create emergency response plans and are involved in regulatory compliance.
  • Nuclear quality assurance - control the quality of nuclear processes and materials to ensure they meet stringent safety standards. 
  • Nuclear waste management: work on strategies for managing nuclear waste, including the safe storage, transportation, and disposal of radioactive nuclear materials and spent nuclear fuel.
  • Research and Development: Nuclear engineers conduct research to advance nuclear technology, develop new reactor designs, and improve existing ones. They also explore applications of nuclear science in various fields.

Types of nuclear engineers at AtkinsRéalis

Our unique approach is to deliver end-to-end project solutions and support for all types of reactor technologies. 

Our lifecycle expertise is a key element of what sets us apart: we have the breadth of capabilities to deliver results at every stage of a project’s lifespan, and the technology and data insights to continually push solutions to the next level. 

This means there are a vast number of career opportunities in this team, including electrical engineering, stress engineering, mechanical engineering, safety and systems engineering, design engineering and more. 

We offer abundant career opportunities and a clear path for progression, allowing our colleagues to continually develop their skills, advance within the nuclear industry, and stay at the forefront of innovation and sustainable energy solutions. 

Is nuclear engineering a good job? 

Under the 2015 Paris climate agreement, 197 countries, agreed to try to limit global temperature rises to 1.5C by 2100. To achieve this, scientists said that net zero CO2 emissions should be reached by 2050. This presents a huge opportunity for nuclear engineering professionals.

Our nuclear and clean energy teams are making significant strides towards net-zero targets by ensuring a mix of secure and sustainable energies that can meet our industry and lifestyle demands today and in 30 years' time. 

We help to power our world through exciting new technologies and intelligent cybersecurity systems on projects that vary greatly in size, scope, and scale. 

So, you'll be creating the right safe and resilient systems across nuclear power plants, renewables, decarbonisation development, new builds and energy efficiency.

Explore nuclear engineering careers at AtkinsRéalis today.