Skip to main content

China and the Nuclear Work Force

We've written more than a few times about the challenge the American nuclear industry faces in terms of the nuclear workforce. And, as it turns out, China faces some of the same challenges too:
China's plans to develop its nuclear power industry faces a major hurdle: a shortage of personnel, a top nuclear expert says.

"The number of current staff is far below the demand of the nuclear industry, especially the nuclear power industry," said Kang Rixin, general manager of China National Nuclear Corp., according to a report in the official Xinhua news agency Sunday.

Asia's second-largest economy needs energy to feed its rapidly growing markets and as part of this effort, Beijing is seeking to diversify its sources of energy. It plans to expand installed nuclear power generating capacity to 40m kW by 2020, up from 8.7m kW now.
For more from our archives, click here.

Technorati tags: , , , ,


Paul Primavera said…
NRC Commissioner Lyons addressed US nuclear work force issues in his February 28, 2006 speech entitled:

Regulatory Perspectives on U.S. Nuclear Power Infrastructure - Current and Future

at web page:

A brief excerpt suffices:

"Finally, I'd like to address another significant challenge for both the industry and the NRC: the impending loss of many of our most experienced employees who are nearing retirement, and the attendant loss of the historical and collective lessons that they have learned. It isn't sufficient to just hope that these lessons will have been passed on to younger generations. There must be proactive actions to mentor our less experienced employees to pass on the important values that are essential to continued safe use of the nuclear energy option.

"Human capital in the nuclear arena is a subset of a much larger national issue. I have serious concerns with the current state of our nation's workforce preparation for science and engineering in general. This issue was recently discussed in significant detail in a comprehensive report issued by the Task Force on the Future of American Innovation.

"That report noted that the number of science and engineering positions in the U.S. workforce has grown since 1980 at almost 5 times the rate of the U.S. civilian workforce as a whole. But in contrast, the number of science and engineering degrees earned by U.S. citizens is growing at rate below the growth in the total U.S. civilian workforce. Further, our preparation of qualified science and engineering graduates is falling further behind other nations with each passing year.

"One measure of this issue, collected in the compendium of Science and Engineering Indicators compiled by the National Science Board, is the ratio of initial university science and engineering degrees to the population of 24 year-olds. In 1975, this ratio for the U.S. exceeded most of the surveyed nations, except Finland and Japan. By 2000, our ratio was exceeded by 16 nations, including again Finland and Japan, plus France, Taiwan, South Korea, UK, Sweden, Ireland, and Italy, to name a few."

Popular posts from this blog

Making Clouds for a Living

Donell Banks works at Southern Nuclear’s Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4 as a shift supervisor in Operations, but is in the process of transitioning to his newly appointed role as the daily work controls manager. He has been in the nuclear energy industry for about 11 years.

I love what I do because I have the unique opportunity to help shape the direction and influence the culture for the future of nuclear power in the United States. Every single day presents a new challenge, but I wouldn't have it any other way. As a shift supervisor, I was primarily responsible for managing the development of procedures and programs to support operation of the first new nuclear units in the United States in more than 30 years. As the daily work controls manager, I will be responsible for oversight of the execution and scheduling of daily work to ensure organizational readiness to operate the new units.

I envision a nuclear energy industry that leverages the technology of today to improve efficiency…

Nuclear: Energy for All Political Seasons

The electoral college will soon confirm a surprise election result, Donald Trump. However, in the electricity world, there are fewer surprises – physics and economics will continue to apply, and Republicans and Democrats are going to find a lot to like about nuclear energy over the next four years.

In a Trump administration, the carbon conversation is going to be less prominent. But the nuclear value proposition is still there. We bring steady jobs to rural areas, including in the Rust Belt, which put Donald Trump in office. Nuclear plants keep the surrounding communities vibrant.

We hold down electricity costs for the whole economy. We provide energy diversity, reducing the risk of disruption. We are a critical part of America’s industrial infrastructure, and the importance of infrastructure is something that President-Elect Trump has stressed.

One of our infrastructure challenges is natural gas pipelines, which have gotten more congested as extremely low gas prices have pulled m…

Innovation Fuels the Nuclear Legacy: Southern Nuclear Employees Share Their Stories

Blake Bolt and Sharimar Colon are excited about nuclear energy. Each works at Southern Nuclear Co. and sees firsthand how their ingenuity powers the nation’s largest supply of clean energy. For Powered by Our People, they shared their stories of advocacy, innovation in the workplace and efforts to promote efficiency. Their passion for nuclear energy casts a bright future for the industry.

Blake Bolt has worked in the nuclear industry for six years and is currently the work week manager at Hatch Nuclear Plant in Georgia. He takes pride in an industry he might one day pass on to his children.

What is your job and why do you enjoy doing it?
As a Work Week Manager at Plant Hatch, my primary responsibility is to ensure nuclear safety and manage the risk associated with work by planning, scheduling, preparing and executing work to maximize the availability and reliability of station equipment and systems. I love my job because it enables me to work directly with every department on the plant…