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Energy Systems Nuclear Operations Technology


Program Description

The Energy Systems Nuclear Operation Technology Associate of Applied Science degree program is administered by the Energy Systems Technology and Education Center (ESTEC), in the College of Technology at Idaho State University. The program is a leader in technical nuclear education. The program instructors have U.S. Navy, commercial, and Department of Energy (DOE) nuclear power plant experience. The program follows nuclear industry standard training that is set by the National Academy for Nuclear Training. Specific lectures are given by selected operators, technicians, and managers from Idaho National Laboratory test reactors and the Materials and Fuel Complex. The program is recognized as the Northwest Regional Center of Excellence for Nuclear Education and Training by the Nuclear Energy Institute. This designation means that ESTEC will be coordinating nuclear energy education and training for technicians in a nine-state region that includes Idaho, Montana, Washington, Oregon, South Dakota, North Dakota, Utah, Wyoming and Nebraska.

ESTEC offers a unique approach to educating students by providing the specific knowledge and skills needed in electrical generation. The skills requirements have been developed in partnership with energy utilities and vendors to assure that program graduates enter the workforce with the precise skills required by industry. Students learn through traditional classroom experience as well as through extensive laboratory exercises. This formula for success has resulted in ESTEC graduates having over 90% job placement with average salaries ranging from $50,000 to $75,000 per year.

Program Objectives

The Educational Objectives of the Energy Systems Engineering Technology programs at ISU reflect the application of curricular content. Graduates of the programs in the Energy Systems Technology & Education Center (ESTEC) at Idaho State University are able to:

  • Practice the Energy Systems Engineering Technology discipline successfully within community-accepted standards.
  • Provide leadership for and communicate effectively in a team-based environment in order to be agents of change in dynamically changing organizations.
  • Analyze and design optimized solutions to systems of people, technology and information.
  • Practice teamwork and communications skills to develop a successful career.
  • Fulfill professional and ethical responsibilities in the practice in energy systems engineering, including social, environmental and economical considerations.
  • Engage in professional service, such as participation in professional society and community service.
  • Engage in life-long learning activities, such as graduate studies or professional workshops.
  • Develop a professional career in the prevailing market that meets personal goals, objectives and desires.

Graduates of the Energy Systems Nuclear Operations Technology program are able to:

  • Demonstrate technical strengths in the areas of nuclear processes and operations, nuclear systems and radiological safety.
  • Verbalize the applicable rules and regulations as they pertain to maintenance and control in the operations and quality assurance.
  • Describe the roles of maintenance, control, performance, the human interface in the operations and quality assurance.
  • Explain the fundamentals of Nuclear power generation.
  • Accurately solve problems using foundation mathematics, physical sciences, and nuclear technology.
  • Interpret laboratory analyses that measure nuclear and radiation processes.
  • Implement operational procedures associated with start-up and shut-down activities.
  • Demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills.
  • Describe the physics and chemistry of radiation and radioactive materials.
  • Explain the fundamentals of radiation and its uses and interactions.
  • Operate radiation monitors.
  • Evaluate radioactive hazards.
  • Assess internal and external exposure of personnel to ionizing radiation.
  • Explain safe control, movement, use, storage, transportation and disposal of radioactive materials.
  • Describe concepts of time, distance and shielding, and protective clothing to minimize dose within radiological environments.
  • Explain radiation protection principles and sources of radiation such as nuclear power plant, medical, and industrial operations.
  • Apply radiation protection principles within an industry, governmental, or educational institution that uses radioactive materials.
  • Explain electricity related to industrial applications.
  • Describe a wide range of electronic components and applications.