Nuclear engineering, the practical application of the principles of nuclear science for the benefit of humankind, provides the engineer or scientist with an opportunity to work on challenging problems that are vitally important to the modern world. The goal of many nuclear engineering programs is to provide students with a strong academic background that enables them to pursue professional careers in nuclear and radiation-based industries, or to pursue graduate study in nuclear engineering or related fields such as medical physics, health physics, or another field of engineering.
Graduates may be hired by electric power companies that use nuclear power plants, or by companies that help service and maintain those plants. They use their knowledge of engineering principles, radioactive decay, interactions of radiation with matter, and nuclear reactor behavior to help assure that the power plants meet the demand for reliable, economic electricity while ensuring a safe environment. Other graduates work in industries that use radioactivity or radiation to detect problems or monitor processes. Jobs are also found in branches of the government as designers of the next generation of reactors for submarines, aircraft carriers, or space probes, or to manage and clean up contaminated wastes. They could also be involved with regulation of nuclear power or radiation uses, or in research to develop advanced technologies that will be used in next-generation power plants. Graduates who want to further their education in the fields of health physics, radiation biology, or nuclear medical applications find this degree to be a useful preparation. [ENGINEERING]


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