Chernobyl wins the 2020 Golden Globes for Best Television Limited Series for Television. The series beat out Catch-22, Fosse/Verdon, The Loudest Voice, and Unbelievable. The controversial series depicts the events of the 1986 nuclear accident in the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, near the city of Pripyat in the north of the former Ukranian SSR. It is considered the worst nuclear disaster to date, with its effects still being felt to this day.
If you caught the series, the fleeting thought of what it would have been like to work there might have crossed your mind. While you may think jobs at a nuclear power plant are limited to geniuses or rocket scientists, there are more common roles that a nuclear power plant like that needs to operate.
Computer Software Developer
Yes, Software Developers are not limited to modern tech companies or Silicon Vally startups. They are needed in the nuclear industry for creating modeling and simulation software that help evolve best practices – something that we have all learned is extremely important within the nuclear industry.
Electrical Engineers are needed to work with a variety of electronics and electrical equipment. In a nuclear power plant, they may also be responsible for designing, maintaining, or enhancing backup power systems.
Mechanical Engineers are needed in multiple industries, nuclear included. It is a broad field in engineering, but Mechanical Engineers who work in the nuclear industry can work with complex and highly unique systems that are only found in these nuclear power plants.
Nuclear power plants require very specific and specialized materials. The power plants depend on Materials Scientists to know the properties of different materials, how they interact with each other, or how to improve the materials.
Physicists help us understand the world around us by exploring matter and energy. A Physicist in the nuclear setting understands, studies, or examines how particles and gamma rays move inside a reactor and how it affects overall operations.
Nuclear Energy in the Philippines
Nuclear Energy is still mostly used in the United States, Lithuania, France, and Slovakia, but its use in the Philippines is being considered, according to this article from the ASEAN Post. A team of experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency conducted a review on December last year on the country’s infrastructure development for nuclear power.
The nuclear program started in 1958 during the regime of the former President Ferdinand Marcos. A few years later in 1973, he announced the decision to build a nuclear power plant. Construction began in 1976 in Morong, Bataan, but was stopped 3 years later following the Three Mile Island accident in the US. Further inspection also revealed thousands of defects with the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant.
After Marcos was overthrown in 1986, the Aquino Administration decided not to continue with the project, following the Chernobyl disaster that happened that same year.
Today, the power plant in Morong is being considered as one of 13 potential sites around the country. The article also states that “In 2016, Duterte ordered a study on the possibility of reopening the powerplant, and while not part of his massive “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program, nuclear energy could be important in fueling his infrastructure projects. Furthermore, Duterte could be eyeing nuclear energy as an option to feed the growing energy demands of the Philippines.”
This may open new opportunities for Engineers and alike to work with nuclear energy, however, we are still a long way from accepting this source of energy since historically, the Philippines has always held a strong anti-nuclear sentiment.
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