Time to Plan for the Future Workforce

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Knowledge related to nondestructive evaluationnondestructive evaluation (NDE) in nuclear plants needs to be preserved and transferred to a new generation of workers, or it will be lost, an EPRI study concluded.

A 2016 survey of major NDE personnel providers for the nuclear industry found that:

  • About half the workers are older than 45, and about 25% are older than 55.
  • Since 2014, the size of the workforce has declined by 3% each year.
  • Trainees and workers with entry-level certifications account for 6% of the workforce—not enough to fill the gap left by retiring workers with higher level certifications.

Over the next 10 to 20 years, half of the NDE personnel will potentially leave the workforce. To sustain safe, reliable operations of the nuclear fleet, the authors say that it is essential for industry stakeholders to collaborate on recruitment of new personnel for NDE careers.

Artwork by Kirk Anderson