Nuclear Energy Isn’t Just for Nuclear Engineers
The industry anticipates the need for significant numbers of entry-level employees in all categories.
Training is a major focus in the nuclear industry as workers continuously sharpen and expand their knowledge and skills, as well as learn new skills. The goal is excellent performance on the job, providing the opportunity to expand responsibilities or change jobs within the organization.
Types of Careers
Technicians and Skilled Trades
Nuclear Career Profiles
Construction and Maintenance Electricians work on virtually every kind of residential, industrial and commercial building. They lay out, assemble, repair, maintain, connect and test electrical fixtures, apparatus, control equipment and wiring. They also work on alarm, communication, light, heating and power systems. Construction and Maintenance Electricians also construct and maintain generation, transmission and distribution stations.
Construction and Maintenance Electricians’ work is physically demanding and they are often outside in the elements. They must be able to distinguish colours.
The apprenticeship for a Construction and Maintenance Electrician is made up of five 1,800 hour terms. Each term is approximately one year in length. The apprenticeship includes three in-school training sessions of eight to 10 weeks each at a community college.
Utility Arborists also known as Electrical Foresters clear electrical lines and right-of-ways of trees and brush. The work consists of pruning, roping and rigging, chain saw operations, tree identification, vegetation control along the right-of-ways and tree removal. The work is performed from the ground, by climbing trees or from bucket trucks.
Utility Arborists do physically demanding work in all kinds of weather, often at great heights.
Mechanical Maintainers play an essential role in the equipment surveillance and maintenance program to ensure safe and reliable plant operation. For the new facilities, Mechanical Maintainers commission plant equipment and systems.
They also provide feedback to technical staff regarding the condition of the equipment through dismantling, inspection and reassembly. They carry out predictive maintenance, preventive, corrective and breakdown maintenance to ensure reliable system operation and ensure the equipment is in a good state of repair.
Working as a Nuclear Operator is an extremely rewarding experience. Nuclear Operators will typically spend their days within a designated area monitoring equipment and systems to ensure all safety levels and procedures are strictly adhered to. It takes skill and precision to be a Nuclear Operator, and you will be constantly monitoring such things as system pressure, temperatures, water levels, and reporting on abnormal conditions.
If you see a problem, it will be up to you to report and record it immediately while following established safety guidelines. Being a Nuclear Operator means staying focused for the whole shift (typically eight, ten or twelve hours) and making sure that you follow procedures. Sure, some of the tasks may be repetitive, but they are essential to your role as a Nuclear Operator and the safety of everyone around you.
Power Line Technicians construct, repair and maintain transmission and distribution lines on poles, towers and structures. This includes patrolling of circuits, inspections, emergency repairs, repairing of street lights, distribution transformer connections, investigating customer complaints and power interruptions. In addition they frame, erect, string and terminate wire buses and overhead lines supported by strain type insulators in outdoor substations. Hole digging attachments, pole setting and related equipment on line trucks are operated by Power Line Technicians.
Power Line Technicians do physically demanding work in all kinds of weather, often at heights of over 50 metres.
The apprenticeship for a Power Line Technician is made up of four 2000 hour terms. Each term is approximately one year in length.
Control Technicians spend a large portion of their day inspecting, maintaining and repairing instrumentation, electronics or electrical equipment. They also perform diagnostic and maintenance routines. Control Technicians may also be asked to train new team members, so they need to be comfortable communicating and working confidently and safely with others. Some days will require several hours of paperwork, which is repetitive but essential to the success and safety of everyone. Control Technicians must be willing to work eight, ten or twelve-hour shift work and they’ll need to be comfortable being on duty at any hour of the day.
Truck and Coach Technicians service and maintain all types of vehicles and equipment. This includes bucket trucks and off road and construction equipment.
Working on industrial vehicles requires frequent heavy lifting and a high degree of mechanical aptitude.
The apprenticeship for a Truck and Coach Technician is made up of five terms. Each term is approximately one year in length. The apprenticeship includes three in-school training sessions of eight weeks each at a community college.
An entry-level plant engineer at a nuclear power plant has a range of responsibilities. Duties include helping to develop complex troubleshooting plans to support plant operations. The engineer also monitors, assesses and improves the performance and reliability of plant systems and components.
An experienced or senior engineer at a nuclear power plant plans and coordinates programs and large-scale engineering projects or several medium projects while acting as a technical specialist for a specific engineering field. Duties include carrying out advanced engineering and technical tasks, and performing independent research, reviews, studies and analyses in support of technical projects.
A mechanical technician performs preventive, corrective and special maintenance on systems, components and structural facilities to ensure the reliability of a nuclear power plant.
An electrical technician’s duties consist of the maintenance and repair of highly complex electrical/electronic equipment required for a nuclear plant. Responsibilities include troubleshooting, testing and inspecting in a highly skilled manner.
Instrumentation and Control (I&C) Technician
An I&C technician is responsible for calibrating, testing, troubleshooting, reworking, modifying and inspecting nuclear plant instrumentation and control components and systems.
A chemistry technician measures and records plant chemistry and radioactivity levels, and operates chemical and radiochemical instrumentation and equipment.
Radiation Protection Technician
Radiation protection technicians measure and record radiation levels; in addition, they service and calibrate radiation protection instruments and equipment. They play a vital role in ensuring the safety of employees working in radiation areas, as well as the facility’s compliance with radiation requirements.
Senior Reactor Operator
A senior reactor operation is licensed to operate a nuclear power plant in accordance with all regulations. Duties include operating the mechanical, electrical and reactor systems from the plant control room in a safe and efficient manner to ensure maximum electrical generation in compliance with regulations.