Nuclear Engineering or Energy Systems Engineering? Which one would result in a better future?

I am currently in grade 12, and and having a hard time picking one, aside from that, any other engineering programs that you feel i will benefit most from in the future?

I am living in Canada.

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4 Responses to “Nuclear Engineering or Energy Systems Engineering? Which one would result in a better future?”

  1. john313181 said:

    nuclear power and engineering is the best for the sake of the planet, the big problem is what to do with reactive waste from nuclear power,if every country devoted more time on perfecting a safe way to store or deal with the waste problem then global warming and tomorrows fuels would not be a problem.nuclear power stations still have a bright future for the sake of the planet,providing the reactive waste can be dealt with,and will last a lot longer than wind power.wave power,or sunlight.

  2. Call me Batman said:

    McMaster university (in Ontario) has a program called Engineering Physics, which has a specialization called ‘Nuclear Engineering and Energy Systems’ that you might be interested in.
    You can find more information here:

  3. technidigm said:

    If your goal is a better future in the sense of simply being employed, either would be OK. If you are looking to have flexibility and options, the more generic energy systems or another field such as mechanical or electrical engineering would likely be best. “Nuclear Engineering” degrees lead to fairly narrow careers in the nuclear industry that they are designed to support, and they require a lot of study in nuclear-specific math and science such that by the time you get a doctoral degree (if you go that far) you are quite limited in what you are good at. But that is true with any doctoral level degree.

    If you just look at a BS degree, you might be better off in the energy arena just getting a mechanical engineering degree, most of which is directed at energy and using energy anyway. If you are determined to go nuclear (not a bad idea since more nuclear power plants are being planned), be aware that a lot of math is involved, advanced math fairly unique to nuclear issues such as critical mass calculations and reactivity issues not found in any other discipline.

    If you are really good at math (you have to really love it, and you have no idea how much more you have to learn about math while you are still in high school), you could do electrical engineering or aeronautical engineering and have a bit more future flexibility than the nuclear option. If you are determined to get into the nuclear field, a degree in mechanical or electrical engineering (being generic across many industries) will serve you as well or better than a degree in nuclear engineering (a specialty of little value outside the nuclear world). There are more mechanical and electrical engineers working at nuclear plants than there are nuclear engineers. There are just hundreds of mechanical and electrical systems at any major power plant, nuclear or not.

    If you are inclined to join the military, a stint in the US Navy nuclear propulsion program is out of the question for Canadians, as that is limited to US citizens, but you might look into the Royal Navy option in that area. The Brits at least have a few nuclear submarines.

    Another consideration for Canadians is that the CANDU reactors (Canadian heavy water, non-pressure vessel design) are significantly different from others in the commercial nuclear industry in the world, which are mostly pressurized water reactors (light/regular water, with pressure vessels and steam generators) or the similar but simplified boiling water reactors that skip the steam generator step. It is possible that you would end up doing CANDU reactor types of projects and get not as much of a generic nuclear experience. You could become an expert on CANDU and weak on the more common designs in the world. Nothing wrong with that, but it is a consideration.

    Energy Systems Engineering is probably sufficiently generic to help you keep your options open, but it might be light on hard core engineering, which is a way of saying that it might be too mushy or unfocused. Yet, there is something to be said for being able to deal with a range of energy systems now that so many people are interested in solar and wind systems. Generating energy, transmitting it up to hundreds of miles to the user, and using it in a variety of ways are all complex and challenging tasks, regardless of the source of energy.

    As you interview with college engineering department folks, one way of quickly discerning whether or not they are credible power engineers is simply to ask “What do you think of ‘power factor’ impacts on overall electrical system efficiencies from the user’s perspective?” If they give you a blank stare, move on.

  4. YES i mispell words its only YA! said:

    F U and F Canada

    engineers are queers


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