• Educate the next generation of leaders in nuclear science and engineering.
  • Conduct leading research at the forefront of the national and international nuclear community.
  • Apply nuclear technology for solving multidisciplinary problems.
  • Provide service to the citizens of Texas, the United States and the international community.


A nuclear option at the University of Texas at Austin has been in existence for over forty years. The earliest known course was Nuclear Reactor Operation and Maintenance and was first offered in 1957. Nuclear Engineering became an option in Engineering Science in 1960 and in Mechanical Engineering in 1970, where it is currently administered. In August 1963, the TRIGA nuclear reactor went critical at 10kW using fuel loaned from the U.S. Government. In 1968, the power was upgraded to 250 kW and then upgraded again in 1992 to 1100 kW at a different site (NETL).


The NETL is happy to host tours of the reactor facility and has hosted many groups over the years including regional universities like San Angelo State, University of Texas at Arlington, and Southwestern University. We have hosted several local tour groups like Boy Scout troops and home school organizations. Local high schools have taken advantage of our facility to educate their students on nuclear research, and UT's Honors Colloquium summer program for academically talented high school Texans includes our tour on its agenda for each year. Having people tour our facility and learn more about nuclear research is an excellent way for us to promote the discipline and foster understanding of nuclear science and its many applications. For more information on requesting a tour please visit our Reactor Tour page.


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In the future, the demand for nuclear and radiation engineers is expected to encompass new areas and technologies. Consequently, the graduate with a Nuclear and Radiation Engineering education can expect to have a wide choice of challenging and rewarding career opportunities. An education in Nuclear and Radiation Engineering prepares students to work on a variety of diverse problems at the frontiers of science and technology. These areas include:

  • Radiation Effects on Materials
  • Stewardship of Existing Nuclear Weapons
  • Managing Existing Radioactive Waste
  • Production Methods of Radioisotopes
  • Neutron Activation Analysis and Prompt Gamma Activation Analysis
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Nuclear Electrical Power
  • Health Physics Applications
  • Neutron Imaging
  • Non-proliferation
  • Computational Nuclear Engineering