Thursday, January 26, 2012

Careers in Nuclear with an AA Degree and Art In Nuclear. Nuclear Science Week Special.

This is National Nuclear Science Week, and with everything else going on, it almost escaped me. Here's a taste of it: Careers and Art.

Careers: John Wheeler and the Value of A Nuclear Education

When Howard and I visited a charter high school in Massachusetts, many of the students had questions about jobs in the nuclear industry:
  • What kinds of jobs are available in nuclear energy?
  • What are the requirements to obtain these jobs?
John Wheeler posted about nuclear energy careers this week. I wish we had John Wheeler's blog post available when we went to the Massachusetts high school. However, Wheeler hadn't yet written his post at that time!

In Explore a Great Career In Nuclear Energy, Wheeler gives an overview of nuclear careers, especially careers that start with the new curriculum for an Associates (AA) degree in Nuclear Energy. This uniform nuclear program is available at 40 community colleges around the country. The degree is recognized at all nuclear plants in the U.S. After graduation with this degree, jobs at power plants start at around $45,000 a year. Actually, these are careers, not just jobs, with a clear path to more responsibility, education, and money.

Since two years at a community college usually costs no more than $6,000, a nuclear AA degree is probably the most cost-effective career program available. Also, these nuclear jobs cannot be outsourced to any other country, because the plants are right here.

And some nuclear plants aren't right here. There's a huge number of new builds abroad, and some of those countries are already recruiting experienced American workers. A young person with a spirit of adventure can choose a wonderful international career.

Art: Knowledge Through Art

Jobs are important, and so is art. Suzanne Hobbs Baker is founder of PopAtomic Studios, a not-for-profit enterprise whose motto is Energy--Knowledge Through Art. (I am on the Board of Directors of PopAtomic.) We carried several PopAtomic Posters at our rallies in support of Vermont Yankee.

Baker was recently chosen to give a TEDx talk, and I embed it below. Also, a hat tip to Atomic Insights and Nuclear Street. Both blogs embedded this talk before I got around to it.

For More Fun with Nuclear Science Week

I encourage you to visit:
  • Nuclear Science Week website for overviews and activities
  • Nuclear Clean Air Energy site for links to presentations about nuclear science and by nuclear engineers, including what it is like to be a young woman working in nuclear energy
  • ANS Nuclear Cafe, with a series of posts and picture galleries of some of the Nuclear Science Week activities
  • Atomic Power Review, with a Nuclear Science Week post every day this week, including a beautifully illustrated post on Russian nuclear icebreaker ships.

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