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What should I major in to be a part of making nuclear fusion a viable energy source?

  1. Oct 23, 2014 #1
    I am a Senior in High School and I would like guidance in selecting a major. I've been most seriously considering Aeronautical, Mechanical, Chemical, and Materials engineering. Maybe Engineering Physics, I don't know too much about it though. Is nuclear engineering a major some places?

    What potential career excites me the most is being a part of making nuclear fusion a viable energy source. I'm not so much interested in doing research at a school, I want to be an engineer.

    What major(s) would be best?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 23, 2014 #2


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    Nuclear engineering is absolutely a major at some places.

    However, the major challenge in making nuclear fusion viable is in plasma confinement. So plasma physics is where it's at in terms of making fusion viable.

    As to what engineering job is best, I can see materials engineering, process, chemical engineering, electrical engineering all being employable.

    Looking at the ITER jobs page, http://www.iter.org/jobs , they're looking for a Fuel Cycle System Engineer, a Tritium Plant System Engineer, a Vacuum System Engineer, and a Tritium Confinement System Engineer. They want "Nuclear, Chemical Engineering or other relevant", "Process or Electronic Engineering field or other ", "Nuclear or Chemical Eng. or other discipline", "Chemical or Nuclear Engineering" and "Nuclear Engineering, Chemical Eng. or other" as degrees, respectively.

    So if those kinds of jobs appeal, those are the kinds of majors you need. I suggest looking for jobs that interest you, then figuring out what you need to do from there.
  4. Oct 26, 2014 #3
    Materials engineering, plasma physics or nuclear engineering would be a good subject. Computer sciences, too since a lot of fusion research involves large computer simulations. Check out the European Fusion Education network http://www.fusenet.eu/ . The newsletter of the European fusion research consortium has a section describing how young scientists have found their way into fusion: https://www.euro-fusion.org/newsletter/young-faces-of-fusion-guido-lange/ https://www.euro-fusion.org/newsletter/young-faces-of-fusion-andrew-thornton/ and others.
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