The nuclear electrical engineer – just who, or what, is he, and what does he do? Here’s the answer . . . .
The nuclear electrical engineer is an electrical engineer who works in the nuclear power industry. He is not a nuclear engineer. He doesn’t do “nuclear engineering” in terms of nuclear physics. He performs electrical engineering tasks for nuclear power plants.
Tasks like designing new cables, conduits, breaker installations, MCC installations, motor installations, instrumentation and controls upgrades, EMC evaluations, and more.
And yet, he is not just an electrical engineer. The electrical engineer who works in the nuclear power industry has been “nuclear-ized”. He has been exposed continuously to the rigorous attention-to-detail training, human performance training, and safety-culture emphasis.
THE NUCLEAR ELECTRICAL ENGINEER’S PURPOSE
The nuclear electrical engineer works in an industry that provides a clean source of power.
Electricity powers the modern world and makes our lives better. Voracious consumer demand for energy fuels the drive for power production. The consumers are sovereign in the economy. They set forth their universal decree for ever-falling prices. The producers of electricity look for the best ways to serve that demand. Those who fail, perish.
The nuclear electrical engineer’s responsibility is to add value to the power production process. They do this by driving costs lower while increasing safety. The consumer is always looking for cheaper, safer power. The power companies are always looking for ways to increase their profits without raising prices to the consumer. The best way to do this is to reduce expenses and increase process efficiencies. Each feeds the other. Excessive waste generates excessive expenses. Increasing efficiency reduces the amount of waste in current processes. Removing waste in current processes increases their efficiency.
The nuclear electrical engineer understands all of these things. He or she is continually improving their skills and increasing their value to their employer and to the consumer.