Engineering graduates: Why the future could be nuclear

While the nuclear power industry may not be the most natural first port of call for job-hunting engineering graduates; the potentially burgeoning nature of the sector could mean that there are range of opportunities on offer in the coming years.

As an example US nuclear company Westinghouse has unveiled plans to house three of its reactors at Moorside, Sellafield, creating an estimated 6,000 jobs in the construction phase and 1,000 permanent jobs once the reactors are completed. More employment opportunities could also arise when each of the reactors is filled.

However, if the project is given the go-ahead the first reactor is scheduled to go on stream in 2024, which means this development will be more applicable to future graduates.

But there is good news for engineering graduates who have already, or about to, enter the jobs market and are interested in a career in nuclear. Until February 28th electrical engineering graduates can apply for the two-year nuclear graduates scheme created by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and sponsored by Sellafield Ltd, Rolls-Royce, Magnox and the Environment Agency.

The programme will see eligible graduates complete three secondments which could see them working with the private sector supply chain and regulatory authorities, working with the Government on-site and more.

Once the programme has been completed graduates will then go on to start work with their chosen sponsoring organisation or continue with their career and professional development.

Electrical engineering graduates will need a 2:1 to apply for the programme, which begins in October.

Students can also limber themselves up for a career in nuclear by taking one of the many nuclear study programmes on offer in the UK. This includes the following: Nuclear Engineering MEng Hons at Lancaster University, MSc in Nuclear Engineering at Imperial College and the Nuclear Engineering MEng at the University of Birmingham.

Are you a STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) graduate? What would it take for you to consider career in the nuclear industry?

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