Learning how to handle radioactive substances and materials as well as radiation producing machines is an integral part of nuclear engineering. It is absolutely necessary to understand our daily exposure to radiation and how to deal with it safely.
We cannot feel, smell or see radiation but we can measure it with simple and sophisticated tools allowing us to locate the radiation source and quantify its impact on its surroundings. Today nuclear engineers can measure the radiation given off object of daily life easily providing the necessary data to assess the risk associated with the measurement.
With the greatest power come the greatest responsibility. Nuclear processes are the powers that drives the universe and can unfold its destructive potential in nuclear weapons. It is key to understand the technical, ethical and political implications of this power and ensure it is handled safely, responsible and reliable every day. Nuclear security and associated areas are an integral part of nuclear engineering today at UC Berkeley.