Nuclear Power Plant
The first nuclear power plant came to being in the 1950's. In early 2012, there were over 430 nuclear power plants in operation globally. With 'Peak Oil' looming, or the threat that the world's oil reserves will run dry in the next century or so, and greenhouse gas buildup a concern worldwide, nations and power producers have been exploring other ways to generate clean energy. While not considered 'green' because of its radioactive waste footprint, nuclear energy has the ability to deliver power without harmful gas emissions into the atmosphere often associated with fossil fuel fired plants.
Traditional nuclear power plants comprise light water reactors by which a nuclear chain reaction is induced; heat from this reaction creates steam to power turbines whereby heat energy is converted into electricity. The reactor is generally encased in a heavily fortified edifice to help contain radiation and waste in the event of an overheating incident. The plants themselves are protected by redundant security systems and features to help prevent fuel or waste from arriving in the wrong hands for enrichment. The advantage of nuclear power plants is that they are considered base load stations because the fuel is essentially a small part of the power production cost.That is not to say that nuclear power plants are desirable or the answer to future energy woes. Incidents like Three Mile Island in the US, Chernobyl in Russia, and more recently, Fukushima in Japan caused devastating and lasting effects after nuclear meltdowns; an instance where the fuel becomes so overheated that it melts and breaches the reactors core, emitting radioactivity to the outside world. Although nuclear waste can and is being refined, recycled and repurposed, there are toxic radioactive waste elements that must be disposed of following depletion.
There are a number of technical disciplines and sectors involved in building, operating, and providing equipment and fuel to nuclear power plant operators:
- Civil Engineering
- Structural Engineering
- Site Procurement
- Mining and Metals
- Chemical Engineering
- Infrastructure / Transportation Engineering
- Power/Electrical Manufacturing and Engineering
- Turbine manufacturing and Engineering
- Environmental Engineering
- Centrifuge Manufacturing
- Laser Manufacturing
- IT and More
Talascend has a number of employment opportunities in the nuclear sector. Visit our main nuclear industry page to learn more about how we can help staff your next project or connect you with these nuclear job opportunities.