Nuclear chemistry as a science deals with various chemical processes that are involved with the nuclear processes such as nuclear fission and nuclear fusion. This understanding of chemical properties of radioactive elements or nuclear elements used in the production of nuclear energy helps nuclear professionals to harness safe power of nuclear energy for human uses.
A person who is technically qualified in nuclear chemistry can practice as a nuclear chemist with nuclear plants, atomic reactors, clinical and medical organizations, cancer research centers, radio pharmaceutical industries, multinational firms, nuclear research centers, atomic laboratories, federal government agencies, radiology research centers etc.
Candidates aspiring to become a nuclear chemist may obtain a degree in nuclear science with specialization in nuclear chemistry from any science universities. However, some senior-level positions with multi nationals may require the candidate to have a doctoral qualification in nuclear chemistry.
Since principles of nuclear chemistry are used in clinical medicine and pharmaceutical sciences for various technologies such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), other medical imaging technologies, such as x-rays and preparation of nuclear medicines, there is no doubt that nuclear chemists can find an ideal career with clinical settings and pharmaceutical industries.
Since nuclear chemistry is also closely related to radiochemistry, nuclear chemists can make use of nuclear chemistry principles for the identification of radioactive elements for various radio diagnostic procedures.
Nuclear chemist position with multinational corporations may require the candidate to have a professional qualification in nuclear chemistry along with 5 years experience as a practicing nuclear chemist. In government agencies and law firms, nuclear chemists may also work as a Nuclear Chemistry Procedures Writer or protocol writer.
An ideal candidate for this position should have a technical degree in nuclear science with specialization in nuclear chemistry (or greater qualifications) with two years of professional experience as a Nuclear Chemistry procedure writer. Besides, he must have knowledge about neutron interactions, heat transfer and fluid flow, basic atomic and nuclear physics and chemistry, radiation protection and detection, nuclear energy production etc.
Nuclear procedure writers are required by medical field also. There, major functions of a nuclear procedure writer are to develop protocols for various radiochemical therapies used in nuclear medicines and to monitor the implementation of nuclear procedures according to the written protocol.
Nuclear chemists in pharmaceutical industries work on the synthesis of positron emission tomography (PET) , a technology used in the research on the new radioactive chemicals for use in oncology (cancer research and treatment), regenerative medicines or cardiology. Pharmaceutical industries generally prefer doctorates in nuclear chemistry or nuclear medicines for such research positions.
Other positions available for qualified nuclear chemists are as Nuclear Chemistry Technicians and as Nuclear Monitoring Technicians. Major career responsibilities of these positions include collection and testing of samples from radiation-prone areas in order to monitor results of nuclear experiments and analyze nuclear contamination of humans, and environment.