Nuclear Engineering

<p>My daughter wants to major in nuclear engineering. With the recent disaster in Japan, along with poor funding here in America, I'm wondering if this is a good choice for her. She says it is, because of the push towards green energy sources, but I think that nuclear power is a political minefield right now. Anyone have any insight into how viable this choice of careers would be?</p>

<p>I was really interested in nuclear engineering at one point as well, but after doing some research and going to a nuclear science conference, I learned that a large percentage of the nuclear funding (at least at my school, UC Berkeley) is in the areas of nuclear nonproliferation (national security) and nuclear waste disposal. Another decent percentage is in the area of medical imaging and therapy, and a very small percentage is set aside for the development of controlled fusion and the large-scale production of energy by nuclear fission. I was only really interested in the energy side of things, so I was extremely disappointed and turned off by the distribution of funding. No chance of me studying nuclear now. </p>

<p>But to answer your question, there are definitely going to be jobs in the nuclear field; the people at the conference I went to assured me that there would be plenty. But I'm not so sure they will be the jobs that your daughter wants if she's interested in the green energy side (like I am).</p>

<p>Thanks for your input. I think it will be important for her to go a good engineering school overall (Ga Tech) as opposed to one that is just good at nuclear (Tennessee). Which is a shame because since we live in Tennessee, she could just about get a full ride with her scores.</p>

<p>I go to VCU, and our program focuses solely on preparing one to work in a nuclear power plant (or a company that operates one).</p>

<p>VCU had an undergraduate program? Besides Georgia Tech and UT, she's also applying to Purdue and Michigan.</p>

<p>There is a future in nuclear engineering. There are huge fusion projects concerning inertial confinement (fusion via powerful lasers) and magnetic confinement (fusion via powerful magnetic toroids such as tokamaks). Additionally, nuclear engineers can find jobs at any of the national laboratories. They all do fission and fusion research. If all else fails, then go into health radiation or radiation imaging. Or become a professor.</p>