Energy Technology

The Energy Technology program provides instruction and hands–on experience for students interested in pursuing a career in the nuclear energy industry. The courses in this program introduce students to the basic theory and fundamental applications of nuclear radiation and power generation while also training and preparing students to become successful candidates for jobs as either radiation protection technicians or non–licensed nuclear operators. 

Please note: The Energy Technology program is not accepting new students for the 2013-2014 academic year.

Contact Information

Department Chair: Chris Metzler

Dean: Carlos Lopez

Department: Physical Sciences

Office: Building OC3600, 760.795.6844

Associate Degree

Associate in Science Degree

Energy Technology

The Associate in Science in Energy Technology is designed to meet the increasing need for entry-level employment in the nuclear power and radiation–related industries. Courses in the degree program provide both the academic and practical experience needed to become a competitive job-placement prospect. Through a combination of math, science, technical studies, and work experience, students acquire the analytical and practical skills needed to enter a rewarding career in the field of nuclear power generation.

Students in the program choose either the Non–licensed Operator Training (NLO) or the Radiation Protection Technology (RPT) emphasis. They earn the degree by completing the required courses for their emphasis as well as the general education courses required for MiraCosta College's Associate in Science degree (see Associate Degrees). Students in the program also receive paid on-the-job training at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station by enrolling in Cooperative Work Experience.

Note: Students interested in the ETEC Program should meet with a MiraCosta counselor to develop a written educational plan for their specific degree.

Program requirements for A.S. in ETEC with Non-Licensed Operator Training Emphasis:

Required courses: 
ETEC 103Radiation Fundamentals3
ETEC 113Radiation Monitoring4
ETEC 115Electrical Sciences4
ETEC 133Reactor Systems2
ETEC 225Primary and Secondary Power Plant Systems3
ETEC 235Electrical and Auxiliary Power Plant Systems3
ETEC 245Power Plant Protection Systems3
ETEC 299Occupational Cooperative Work Experience3
or WKEX 233 Cooperative Work Experience -- General
CHEM 100Introductory Chemistry *4-5
or CHEM 110 General Chemistry
COMM 101Oral Communication3
or COMM 106 Group Communication
or COMM 120 Principles of Human Communication
or COMM 135 Gender Studies in Communication
or COMM 207 Interpersonal Communication
or COMM 212 Argumentation
or COMM 215 Intercultural Communication
or COMM 220 Introduction to Mass Communication
ENGL 100Composition and Reading4
MATH 125College Algebra **3-5
or MATH 150 Calculus and Analytic Geometry I
or MATH 150H Calculus and Analytic Geometry (Honors)
MATH 130Trigonometry ***3
PHYS 111Introductory Physics I *4
or PHYS 151 Principles of Physics I
PHYS 112Introductory Physics II *4
or PHYS 152 Principles of Physics II
Total Units50-53

 Program requirements for A.S. in ETEC with Radiation Protection Technology Emphasis:

Required courses: 
ETEC 103Radiation Fundamentals3
ETEC 113Radiation Monitoring4
ETEC 133Reactor Systems2
ETEC 223Radiation Dosimetry4
ETEC 233Radioactive Materials Handling3
ETEC 243Radiological Safety and Response3
ETEC 253Radiation Protection4
ETEC 299Occupational Cooperative Work Experience3
or WKEX 233 Cooperative Work Experience -- General
CHEM 100Introductory Chemistry *4-5
or CHEM 110 General Chemistry
COMM 101Oral Communication3
or COMM 106 Group Communication
or COMM 120 Principles of Human Communication
or COMM 135 Gender Studies in Communication
or COMM 207 Interpersonal Communication
or COMM 212 Argumentation
or COMM 215 Intercultural Communication
or COMM 220 Introduction to Mass Communication
ENGL 100Composition and Reading4
MATH 125College Algebra **3-5
or MATH 150 Calculus and Analytic Geometry I
or MATH 150H Calculus and Analytic Geometry (Honors)
MATH 130Trigonometry ***3
PHYS 111Introductory Physics I *4
or PHYS 151 Principles of Physics I
PHYS 112Introductory Physics II *4
or PHYS 152 Principles of Physics II
Total Units51-54
*

 Or a course higher in the subject's sequence.

**

 A course equivalent to MATH 150 will meet the requirement for MATH 125 and MATH 130.

***

 Or a higher level course with a trigonometry prerequisite.

How to Read Course Descriptions

Courses

ETEC 103: Radiation Fundamentals

Units: 3
Prerequisites: None
Acceptable for Credit: CSU
Lecture 3 hours. (0303.00)

This course presents an overview of the physics and chemistry of radiation and radioactive materials. It describes different radiation applications, their associated radionuclides, context(s) and rationale(s) of use, interactions with matter, shielding and energetics, decay products, and their production in reactors or accelerators. The course includes appropriate mathematics, such as unit conversions and exponentials.

ETEC 113: Radiation Monitoring

Units: 4
Prerequisites: ETEC 103.
Acceptable for Credit: CSU
Lecture 4 hours. (0303.00)

This course presents scenarios in which radiation protection technicians (RPTs) monitor sources of radiation. The course focuses on the theory and operation of radiation monitors, maintenance and calibration of these systems, proper selection and use of various monitoring systems for evaluation of radioactive hazards, and the interpretation and reporting of such evaluations. In addition to the fundamental science, students learn how to use radiation monitoring equipment in a variety of scenarios.

ETEC 115: Electrical Sciences

Units: 4
Prerequisites: None
Advisory: MATH 130.
Acceptable for Credit: CSU
Lecture 4 hours. (0303.00)

This course introduces non-licensed nuclear operator trainees to the fundamentals of electronics and electrical sciences. Students learn the conceptual and mathematical tools necessary to analyze DC and AC circuits that employ various passive and active devices, such as resistors, capacitors, inductors, transistors, and operational amplifiers. Students also apply the theoretical framework of circuit analysis to design and build various working circuits.

ETEC 133: Reactor Systems

Units: 2
Prerequisites: ETEC 103.
Acceptable for Credit: CSU
Lecture 2 hours. (0303.00)

This course provides a broad overview of nuclear reactor plants for radiation protection technician (RPT) and non-licensed nuclear operator trainees. Students learn about the basic components and systems of a reactor plant as well as issues involved with reactor plant materials. The course also provides an introduction to reactor plant protection and safety measures.

ETEC 223: Radiation Dosimetry

Units: 4
Prerequisites: ETEC 113.
Acceptable for Credit: CSU
Lecture 3 hours, laboratory 3 hours. (0303.00)

This course introduces radiation protection technicians (RPTs) to the application of radiation dosimetry. It presents scenarios in which RPTs monitor internal and external exposure of personnel to ionizing radiation, such as when performing surveys, whole body counts, and bioassays. The course addresses interpretating these results and techniques for minimization of personnel dose.

ETEC 225: Primary and Secondary Power Plant Systems

Units: 3
Prerequisites: ETEC 133.
Acceptable for Credit: CSU
Lecture 3 hours. (0303.00)

This course introduces nuclear operator trainees to the primary and secondary systems involved in nuclear power generation. It presents a broad array of topics, including nuclear reactors, steam turbines, and water cooling systems. The course provides a general overview of the mechanisms utilized at nuclear power plants to generate safe and reliable electricity.

ETEC 233: Radioactive Materials Handling

Units: 3
Prerequisites: ETEC 223.
Acceptable for Credit: CSU
Lecture 3 hours. (0303.00)

This course introduces radiation protection technicians (RPTs)to the procedures and guidelines necessary for safe handling of radioactive materials. Students learn how and when RPTs are required to provide safe control, movement, use, storage, transportation, and disposal of radioactive materials and waste. The course presents realistic workplace scenarios that require an RPT for safe materials handling.

ETEC 235: Electrical and Auxiliary Power Plant Systems

Units: 3
Prerequisites: ETEC 225.
Acceptable for Credit: CSU
Lecture 3 hours. (0303.00)

This course introduces nuclear operator trainees to the electrical and auxiliary systems involved in nuclear power generation. It presents a broad array of topics, including electrical generators, diesel engines, electrical distribution, cooling systems, and radiation waste systems. Students learn how individual power plant systems contribute to the overall goal of safe electrical generation and distribution.

ETEC 243: Radiological Safety and Response

Units: 3
Prerequisites: ETEC 223.
Acceptable for Credit: CSU
Lecture 3 hours. (0303.00)

This course introduces radiation protection technicians (RPTs) to the procedures and guidelines necessary for ensuring and maintaining radiation doses as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA). Students learn how to minimize radiation exposure for the safety of individuals, the work environment, and the population. The course also covers standard RPT response to abnormal and emergency radiological conditions.

ETEC 245: Power Plant Protection Systems

Units: 3
Prerequisites: ETEC 235.
Acceptable for Credit: CSU
Lecture 3 hours. (0303.00)

This course introduces nuclear operator trainees to the many protection systems utilized by a power plant. It covers a broad array of topics, including reactor plant protection, actuator signals, containment procedures, cooling systems, and isolation systems. Students learn the vital role that each system plays in the overall protection of a nuclear power plant.

ETEC 253: Radiation Protection

Units: 4
Prerequisites: ETEC 233 and ETEC 243.
Acceptable for Credit: CSU
Lecture 3 hours, laboratory 3 hours. (0303.00)

This course is a capstone for the radiation protection technician students in the Energy Technology Program. It presents radiation protection problems embedded in different radiation contexts, the majority of which are nuclear power reactor-based. Students solve problems such as providing radiological coverage of jobs and high-risk and low-risk activities (such as outages), planning for protection from hazardous radiation, monitoring of activities in radioactive zones, and responding to emergencies.

ETEC 292: Internship Studies

Units: 0.5-3
Prerequisites: None
Corequisite: Complete 75 hrs paid or 60 hrs non-paid work per unit.
Enrollment Limitation: Instructor, dept chair, and Career Center approval. May not enroll in any combination of cooperative work experience and/or internship studies concurrently.
Acceptable for Credit: CSU

This course provides students the opportunity to apply the theories and techniques of their discipline in an internship position in a professional setting under the instruction of a faculty-mentor and site supervisor. It introduces students to aspects of the roles and responsibilities of professionals employed in the field of study. Topics include goal-setting, employability skills development, and examination of the world of work as it relates to the student's career plans. Students must develop new learning objectives and/or intern at a new site upon each repetition. Students may not earn more than 16 units in any combination of cooperative work experience (general or occupational) and/or internship studies during community college attendance.

ETEC 299: Occupational Cooperative Work Experience

Units: 1-8
Prerequisites: None
Corequisite: Complete 75 hrs paid or 60 hrs non-paid work per unit.
Enrollment Limitation: Career Center approval. May not enroll in any combination of cooperative work experience and/or internship studies concurrently.
Acceptable for Credit: CSU

Cooperative Work Experience is intended for students who are employed in a job directly related to their major. It allows such students the opportunity to apply the theories and skills of their discipline to their position and to undertake new responsibilities and learn new skills at work. Topics include goal-setting, employability skills development, and examination of the world of work as it relates to the student's career plans. Students may not earn more than 16 units in any combination of cooperative work experience (general or occupational) and/or internship studies during community college attendance.

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