How To Find Construction Jobs In Nuclear
There are numerous roles required to construct and run a nuclear site. Our post today — in Get Into Nuclear style — will simplify the array of jobs available by organising them into three categories:
All nuclear roles require various levels of security vetting, which is covered separately in another post;
Construction opportunities within the UK Nuclear Industry.
Construction opportunities in the nuclear industry have been, up until recently, limited in many places across the world since the completion of the current fleet of nuclear new builds.
Construction work on Nuclear Power Plants (NPP), Decommissioning projects and Defence work in the last decade has been a pretty closed arena due to the sensitivity of the work and the licensing of the sites.
This situation is about to change. At the time of writing, the industry is on the cusp of entering an unprecedented era with a peak demand of 17,000 construction workers required on the Nuclear New Builds (NNB) alone*. The market demand for concreters, rebar fixers, and scaffolders is expected to be high.
Commissioning opportunities within the UK Nuclear Industry.
Commissioning is a requirement of all nuclear licence sites. The commissioning phase is needed to verify that the plant performs as expected of the designer and aligns with the assumptions made in the safety case. Commissioning is undertaken in a phased approach with approval of the previous phase required before commencing work on the next stage.
As an example of the work available, a recent role description for a commissioning engineer on an existing nuclear licence site lists the primary purpose of the role as:
- A member of a multi-disciplined team to carry out testing activities safely and effectively.
- Has the ability to lead a designated area, system or discipline.
- To work with and provide support to commissioning colleagues and personnel involved in other disciplines.
- To accurately record test results in an auditable manner to satisfy internal and external auditors.
- To support the Commissioning Team Leader / Commissioning Manager.
- To comply with the Commissioning Framework & Supporting Procedures.
- To comply with the client practices and local arrangements.
Operator opportunities within the UK Nuclear Industry.
There are currently over 400 nuclear reactors generating electricity across the globe, with numerous more in the decommissioning phase following their closure. There are also defence sites that require many operators to undertake innumerable operations daily.
You could be forgiven for thinking that with the nuclear new builds (NNB’s) simply replacing the existing fleet, there is no need for further operators in the UK Nuclear Industry. To some certain extent, you are correct, as the total number of operators is not expected to increase exponentially over the coming years. With operations of the first NNB expected in the mid-2020s, it is potentially quite a while before new operators are needed.
The opportunity lies in the current demographic and skill set of the current workforce — especially on the nuclear power plants (NPP’s). It is no secret that the Nuclear Industry has an ageing workforce, and there are many opportunities to be had as this workforce starts to retire — which is happening now. Add the fact that nuclear technology has moved on. The new reactors will utilise new reactor designs, meaning that the current nuclear operators will level the playing field in securing future roles in the industry.
So what can you do to put yourself in a position to land a role in construction?
#1 Make a list of the types of jobs that interest you.
#2 Using the above job types, head to a job board, such as Energy Jobline, and highlight the skills and experience in live job advertisements.
#3 Analyse your skills and experience against those in the job descriptions. If there are gaps, head to #4. If not, head to #5.
#4 Check out the places that you can upskill to put yourself in the best position to land the perfect role for you in the nuclear industry.
#5 Head over to Energy Jobline, upload your CV and apply for live jobs. If you are not happy with your CV or would like further help with the application process, head on over to our Six-steps to Get Into Nuclear guidance.