Individuals who have a background in nuclear sciences can look forward to a rewarding career in many business sectors of the nuclear industry including:
Nuclear power is the most prominent and visible sector of the nuclear industry. Electricity produced from nuclear power plants has proven to be one of the safest, cleanest, and most sustainable forms of base-load energy capable of meeting the electric demands of the public. The Southeast United States has particularly benefited from this reliable source of energy. Consequently, a majority of the next generation of nuclear plants are slated to be built in this area. At this time, 29 nuclear reactors have been applied for to the NRC to be built in the United States. Several of the locations for the proposed reactors are in Georgia and surrounding states, including 2 new reactors that are being built at the existing Plant Vogtle in Eastern
A select number of potential employers in the nuclear power industry are listed below.
- Crane Nuclear
- First Energy
- General Electric
- NextEra Energy
- SCANA Energy
- Southern Company
- Tennessee Valley Authority
- Westinghouse Nuclear
The field of nuclear medicine focuses on the use of radiation and implementation of radionuclides for medical diagnostics and treatment of diseases. Millions of patients are treated with nuclear medicine every year and over 10,000 hospitals worldwide utilize radioisotopes in medicine. In non-interventional diagnostic imaging, instruments such as CAT Scans and X-Ray machines are used. In interventional nuclear diagnostics radiopharmaceuticals are administered to patients; and gamma-ray detectors are used to capture images from the emitted radiation inside the patient. In radiotherapy, radiation is used to destroy cancerous cells within the body. Radiotherapy consists of three sub-fields: external beam radiation therapy, brachytherapy (internal), and unsealed source radiotherapy.
Individuals who are interested in nuclear medicine should have a solid background in nuclear reactions and the various radioactive decay processes which accompany them.
A list of employers within the nuclear medicine industry is listed below.
- GE Healthcare
- Emory Healthcare
- Radiation Decontamination Solutions
- Siemens Medical Solutions
- Varian Medical Equipment
- Wellstar Medical Services
Food irradiation is the process whereby ionizing radiation is used to kill bacteria and any microorganisms that may be present in food. Killing the bacteria enables the food to stay fresh for a longer period of time when compared to foods that haven't been irradiated. Food irradiation is notably important in the agriculture industry to protect fruits and vegetables from pests. In addition, viruses such as the E. coli virus in meat products can be treated by irradiation.
A list of employers within the food irradiation industry is listed below.
One of the leading disciplines within the nuclear industry is the field of research. Since the nuclear industry is a continually evolving field, there are always demands for qualified researchers that will be needed to support its growth. Researchers in the nuclear industry work with some of the most sophisticated technological systems in the world. Due to the nature of the work, most researchers will be required to maintain a security clearance. Areas of research in the nuclear industry include but are not limited to: nuclear reactor physics, radiation detection, radiation protection, nuclear safeguards, nuclear reactor thermal hydraulics, environmental impact, emergency procedures, computer code development, and health physics.
A list of employers within the research industry is listed below.
- Argonne National Laboratory
- Brookhaven National Laboratory
- Idaho National Laboratory
- General Atomics
- Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
- Los Alamos National Laboratory
- Oak Ridge National Laboratory
- Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
- Sandia National Laboratories
Several of our students have bolstered their undergraduate career and resumes by working in industry as engineers for a semester or two through internships and Co-Ops. For more information regarding these opportunities please visit the links under the Employment Opportunities section to learn more about each employer’s internship and Co-Op programs and visit the Kennesaw State University’s Department of Career Planning and Development.