NEI reports younger workforce for nuclear industry

This graph shows nuclear operating staff age distributions for 2002 and 2015.
This graph shows nuclear operating staff age distributions for 2002 and 2015. | Courtesy of the NEI
The Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) announced on Wednesday that the nuclear industry in the U.S. is seeing growth in younger employees, enough to replace older workers that retire.

They also report that plant closures have forced a decline in nuclear utility staffing levels. In 2015, they report that there were approximately 57,000 people working in nuclear power plants, as opposed to 62,000 in 2013. The institute’s Nuclear Workforce Survey 2015 indicates that workers in the 28 to 32 and 33 to 37 age groups are on the rise in terms of hires.

They also found that numbers in the 48 to 57 age group are declining. They also report that this trend is consistent across the industry. Approximately 50 percent of the nuclear industry’s commercial workforce operates in nuclear supplies.

The NEI states that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has provided support for the facilitation of nuclear academic programs, including the Nuclear Uniform Curriculum Program.

NEI Senior Project Manager for Radiation Safety Jerry Hiatt stated that one area of concern was the decline in individuals pursuing health physics in relation to the nuclear industry. He reports that the number of bachelor’s and higher degrees in this area is declining and could be an indication of a potential shortage of professionals trained to manage radiation in medical, nuclear energy and health physics areas.

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Nuclear Energy Institute

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