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Peter LaComber

Consulting Engineer

CRH plc

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  Peter LaComber
Skills - organisation and attention to detail Interests - all things technical Education - basic engineering foundation course (degree or similar)
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Occupation Details

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Engineer - Nuclear

Job Zone

Education
Most of these occupations require qualifications at NFQ Levels 7 or 8 (Ordinary / Honours Degrees) but some do not.

Related Experience
A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an engineer must complete four years of college and work for several years in engineering to be considered qualified.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Job Zone Examples
Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, computer programmers, teachers, chemists, environmental engineers, criminal investigators, and financial analysts.

€35k > 75 
Engineer - Nuclear
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€35 - 75 
Related Information:
Entrants 35k
Experienced 45k to 75k
Data Source(s):
SOLAS

Last Updated: March, 2013

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
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At a Glance... header image

Works on problems related to nuclear energy production and nuclear waste disposal.


The Work header image

In a nuclear power station, some nuclear engineers are responsible for operations engineering. Some work in the central control room, from where they can operate and monitor all the essential plant systems on a round-the-clock basis. Nuclear engineers deal with routine operations such as starting up and shutting down the plant. They must also deal with emergency operations and plant faults.  
 
In systems engineering, nuclear engineers are responsible for maintaining all aspects of the systems used within the plants. They manage a wide range of electro-mechanical systems, including boilers, turbines, fuelling machines, diesel electrical generators and seawater cooling pumps.  
 
Nuclear engineers study the likely causes of accidents and prepare reports on how best to tackle or avoid them. They also write and deliver training programmes for technicians and other staff.  
They manage the process by which nuclear power plants are periodically shut down for routine maintenance and inspection. These periods are known as outages.  
 
Nuclear engineers must make sure that the installation, testing and commissioning of all machinery and systems meets time, budget and quality targets. Some nuclear engineers are responsible for coming up with business plans and producing financial budgets.  
 
They provide engineering solutions to technical issues as they come up, as well as planning and delivering programmed plant upgrades and modifications.  
 
Other long-term work involves thinking of ways to decommission redundant nuclear reactors. Nuclear engineers need to think about how to retrieve, treat and store any waste from the site. At the start of a decommissioning project, nuclear engineers write budget and risk-assessment strategy reports.  
 
Environmental safety and radiological protection are essential concerns for nuclear engineers. Nuclear engineers advise on all aspects of radioactive waste management. For example, they research, design and develop special containers (or flasks) to transport used or 'spent' fuel to scientists for recycling. It is vital that the containers are secure and made from the right materials, to stop the radioactive waste from leaking.  
 
The field can also include the study of nuclear fusion, medical applications of radiation, nuclear safety, heat transport, nuclear fuels tech

 


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation

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Initiate corrective actions or order plant shutdowns in emergency situations.

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Direct operating or maintenance activities of operational nuclear power plants to ensure efficiency and conformity to safety standards.

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Monitor nuclear facility operations to identify any design, construction, or operation practices that violate safety regulations and laws or that could jeopardize the safety of operations.

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Examine accidents to obtain data that can be used to design preventive measures.

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Design or develop nuclear equipment, such as reactor cores, radiation shielding, or associated instrumentation or control mechanisms.

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Write operational instructions to be used in nuclear plant operation or nuclear fuel or waste handling and disposal.

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Prepare construction project proposals that include cost estimates, and discuss proposals with interested parties such as vendors, contractors, and nuclear facility review boards.

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Perform experiments that will provide information about acceptable methods of nuclear material usage, nuclear fuel reclamation, or waste disposal.

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Conduct tests of nuclear fuel behavior and cycles or performance of nuclear machinery and equipment to optimize performance of existing plants.

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Keep abreast of developments and changes in the nuclear field by reading technical journals or by independent study and research.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.

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Analyzing Data or Information:  Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

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Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge:  Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

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Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work:  Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

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Processing Information:  Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

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Getting Information:  Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

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Thinking Creatively:  Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

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Making Decisions and Solving Problems:  Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

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Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events:  Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

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Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates:  Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

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Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships:  Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.


Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.

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Engineering and Technology:  Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.

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Physics:  Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.

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Mathematics:  Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

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Chemistry:  Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.

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Design:  Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.


Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.

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Operations Analysis:   Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.

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Reading Comprehension:   Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

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Critical Thinking:   Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

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Science:   Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

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Active Listening:   Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

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Active Learning:   Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

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Writing:   Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

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Mathematics:   Using mathematics to solve problems.

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Complex Problem Solving:   Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

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Judgment and Decision Making:   Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

You must have excellent engineering knowledge and a logical, methodical and thorough approach to solving problems.  
 
You need good team working skills to support colleagues; you must be able to communicate well with other engineers and scientists.  
 
You must be committed to protecting the safety of the public and the environment. You must be willing to learn and develop new knowledge, to keep up-to-date with environmental issues and public concerns about nuclear safety. You also need to keep up to date with all new and advancing technologies.  
 
You may be responsible for planning timetables and budgets, so you need good organisational, written and numerical skills. The ability to stay calm and work well under pressure is very important.  
 
You will need strong computer skills to use a wide range of sophisticated technology. You may supervise or train repair teams, so you must have good leadership skills; you need to be able to encourage and motivate others.


Entry Routesheader image

Nuclear engineers normally complete an appropriate engineering or science degree. There are no specialist courses in nuclear engineering. Instead, nuclear engineers come from a wide range of engineering disciplines, including Mechanical, Chemical, Control, Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Materials Science.  
 
It is essential to consult prospectuses to make sure the course you choose is appropriate to the branch of engineering you want to follow.  
 
Depending on their level of entry, nuclear engineers can gain Chartered Engineer or Associate Engineer status [See Professional Titles at Engineers Ireland].  
 
These professional titles can be applied for after first gaining an accredited degree, diploma or certificate and following this through with three or four years experience in the workplace.  
 
Those who hold the Higher Certificate in Engineering can qualify to become Technician Members of the Institution of Engineers of Ireland. Following three years experience a member may then obtain the title Eng Tech IEI.  
 
Chartered Engineers (CEngMIEI) normally have the greatest level of responsibility for engineering projects. They plan and manage engineering activities and functions and lead the development of new technologies. They make sure that a project is completed on time and within budget and may assume responsibility for the direction of important tasks, including the profitable management of industrial and commercial enterprises.  
 
The usual route to CEng status is to complete an accredited engineering degree or equivalent and undertake four years postgraduate training and experience.  
 
Associate Engineers (AEng IEI) normally have a specific level of responsibility for engineering projects. They may work as team leaders or deal with technical aspects of complex technologies. They may supervise quality assurance procedures, and manage and develop test and inspection programmes.  
 
The usual route to AEng status is to complete an accredited or engineering degree and undertake three years postgraduate experience. Another way is to complete an approved National or Technician Diploma in Engineering or equivalent and follow through with four years postgraduate experience  
Engineering Technicians (EngTech IEI) apply proven techniques and procedures to the sol

Last Updated: October, 2014


Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

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Go..Nuclear Engineer - from:  N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Nuclear Engineer - from:  YouTube Video

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image

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Organisation: Engineers Ireland
  Address: 22 Clyde Road, Ballsbridge Dublin 4
  Tel: (01) 665 1300
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

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Organisation: STEPS - Engineers Ireland
  Address: 22 Clyde Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, Ireland
  Tel: (01) 665 1340
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

 

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Physical & Mathematical Sciences
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