Impactfully No. 70: The next wave of nuclear energy

This week, a trifecta of companies are reviving nuclear energy as a climate action solution, United By Blue is cleaning up waterways one purchase at a time, and MIO dresses up the corporate office with sustainable decor.

Impactfully No. 70: The next wave of nuclear energy
Photo by Mick De Paola / Unsplash

When it comes to nuclear energy, I figured most of the focus was on fusion, not fission. It was a big deal last year when scientists achieved fusion ignition for the first time, meaning fusion produced more energy than it took to kick it off. But it turns out that fission reactors are very much in the clean energy conversation as well – and not just the kind you know from your science class.

A plethora of companies has emerged in recent years to build new types of nuclear fission reactors at a smaller, repeatable scale. It's early yet, but the thinking is two-fold: nothing beats the energy density of nuclear energy for meeting climate targets, and lowering the size and complexity of nuclear reactors will accelerate their adoption.

This week, we're featuring a couple of companies working on the next generation of reactors: TerraPower, Oklo, and X-Energy. Each is hiring for a significant number of roles, and I've prioritized a mix in the newsletter; if you have a technical background, I'd encourage you to check out their websites for more opportunities.

Of course, I have more than energy transition jobs below – let's dive in:

TerraPower is the first of our three nuclear fission companies this week. Most of their roles are onsite in the Seattle metro area, and they offer relocation assistance – something that definitely comes in handy if your next social impact job is out of state. They also boast over $800 million in recent funding, a promising step towards commercialization.

  • Facility Access and Operations Assistant – Everett, WA and Bellevue, WA
  • Chemical Process Engineer – Bellevue, WA
  • Document Control Specialist – Bellevue, WA
  • Financial Systems Manager – Bellevue, WA
  • IT Project Manager – Bellevue, WA
  • Operations Assistant, Facilities, Finance & Operations – Bellevue, WA
  • Performance Improvement Specialist – Remote
  • Senior Contract Administrator – Remote
  • Shift Operations Supervisor – Everett, WA
  • Test Engineer – Everett, WA

View job opportunities >>

Oklo is in the process of deploying a nuclear reactor as part of the Department of the Air Force's Micro-reactor program – this is about as close to the action as it gets. Compared to the other two companies, Oklo boasts the most flexibility and work from home opportunities.

  • Defense Project and Contract Manager – Remote
  • IT Service Desk Technician – Santa Clara, CA
  • Siting and Environmental Licensing Engineer – Remote
  • Instrumentation and Controls Engineer – Remote
  • Risk Analyst Engineer – Remote
  • Safety Analysis Engineer – Remote
  • Senior Mechanical Design Engineer – Remote
  • Licensing Manager – Remote
  • Regulatory Engineer – Remote

View job opportunities >>

X-Energy is particularly unique in this space, because they're designing reactors to be portable and power remote communities. Check out this page that imagines a reactor in a shipping container – I've never seen anything like it. I also like that they are hiring for entry-level roles, so you don't need as much experience to get started along this career path.

  • Accountant – Rockville, MD
  • Director, Project Controls – Rockville, MD
  • Engineer, Supplier Quality Assurance – Rockville, MD
  • Environmental Licensing Project Manager – Rockville, MD
  • Analyst I, Nuclear Core Design – Rockville, MD
  • Engineer I, Nuclear Safety Analysis – Rockville, MD
  • Lead, Supply Chain – Rockville, MD
  • Vice President, Construction – Rockville, MD

View job opportunities >>

Looking for even more social impact job opportunities? Visit our job board for thousands of ways to make the world a better place

Goodkind Co. is a certified B Corp that helps brands create clean, sustainable personal care products. One of their best perks is their medical, dental, and vision insurance – they cover premiums at 100%.

  • Office Administrator – Round Rock, TX
  • Environmental Health and Safety Specialist – Round Rock, TX
  • Cosmetic Formulation Chemist – Round Rock, TX
  • Production Materials Handler – Round Rock, TX

View job opportunities >>

New Chapter makes whole-food supplements with a focus on sustainable supply chains and regenerative agriculture. I'm a fan of any role where you get significant autonomy and strategic license – if that resonates with you as well, don't miss out on this Creative Director opportunity.

  • Creative Director – Brattleboro, VT
  • Quality Control Inspector – Brattleboro, VT
  • Designer – Brattleboro, VT
  • Production Operator – Brattleboro, VT

View job opportunities >>

Stone Creek Coffee is a B Corp that knows how to roast a good bean and supports sustainable practices throughout their supply chain. If you're looking for a great first job in social impact that doesn't require experience, check out the Barista role. They train you once you join the team and raise your wage when you get certified.

  • Demand Generation Manager – Milwaukee, WI
  • Barista – Milwaukee, WI; Glendale, WI; Oconomowoc, WI; or Wauwatosa, WI
  • Cafe Manager – Milwaukee, WI or Oconomowoc, WI

View job opportunities >>

MIO is a sustainable furnishings design company and has supplied major companies like Apple, Google, and Sony. I love their ethos around sustainability: that consumers should be drawn to sustainable products because they actually desire them, not because they happen to be sustainable. Regular readers of the newsletter know I'm a big architecture and design fan – I would have been thrilled to have this internship opportunity when I was in school.

  • Internship - Industrial Designer – Remote
  • Sales & Customer Experience Specialist – Remote

View job opportunities >>

United By Blue is a sustainable clothing and accessories brand that removes one pound of trash from oceans and waterways for every product sold. This is a fairly common giving model, but I like it – everyone's incentives are aligned, from the business and its customers to the stakeholders who receive the impact. If the mission resonates, these two opportunities give you the chance to spread the word: one in marketing, and the other in sales.

  • Marketing Manager – Remote
  • Independent Wholesale Representative – Remote

View job opportunities >>

Neil Kelly is a certified B Corp that specializes in home remodeling services while prioritizing sustainability and community involvement. I like how they view each remodel as its own form of sustainability by extending the life of the home. Whether you want to work in the field or with customers, you'll find a number of opportunities throughout the Pacific Northwest.

  • Designer & Salesperson, Residential Remodeling – Springfield, OR or Bend, OR
  • Lead Solar Installer – Portland, OR
  • General Manager - Residential Remodeling & Construction – Seattle, WA
  • Building Design + Structural Specialist - Residential – Seattle, WA
  • Carpenter – Seattle, WA

View job opportunities >>

SecondMuse is a social impact company that builds resilient economies through innovation and investment. If you're a climate tech leader, give this director role a look – it's a great way to expand your impact beyond a single company.

  • Director, Climate Tech – New York, NY

View job opportunities >>

💡 Job source of the week: ImpactAlpha

ImpactAlpha is known for its daily newsletter about impact investing, but they also manage a job board for impact investing careers. Even if you don't have a finance background, you'll find a long list of social impact companies in the finance sector who often hire for other roles.

What do you think: are we heading for a nuclear power renaissance? Nuclear energy or otherwise, I'm glad to see an acceleration of investment in climate action. Let's hope this one sticks.

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Jamie Larson