Lakeland's nuclear engineering technologies program provides educational requirements in an associate degree program for prospective nuclear plant workers at the technician, maintenance, and non-licensed operations level. Our degree is based on the utility initial training programs accredited by the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO).
A large percentage of the employees at nuclear power plants are nearing retirement age. The need to train a new generation of nuclear engineers and technicians is not unique to Northeast Ohio and our Energy Harbor powerplant in Perry. It is an industry problem with statistics indicating a need for more than 50,000 new employees over the next decade.
To help address this problem on a local level Lakeland established a two-year Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in nuclear engineering technology.
The technical course curriculum is designed to train students to become technicians in operations, mechanical maintenance, electrical maintenance, chemistry or health physics. The program would also prepare students for employment as a maintenance technician in any manufacturing or production facility. More than 100 nuclear power plants exist in the United States and graduates of this program would be trained to work at any domestic nuclear power plant.
In addition to classroom studies, eligible students could spend 10 weeks in the summer working at a nuclear power plant in a paid internship. The salary from this internship could essentially pay for the cost of the tuition and books for a portion of the program. Internship students could earn two technical elective credits toward the completion of their degree. During the internship, students rotate through the plant's maintenance, operations, radiation protection and chemistry departments. This gives the students an opportunity to see firsthand the variety and nature of the different functions within a commercial nuclear plant.