© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.

Power

In your average workday, you split atoms for a living; power's basically your entire job description. If you work in a power plant or research and development, you think about the atom and how to harness its energy as part of your normal routine. You know who else does that?

 
It can give you power, but not superpowers. (Source)

Supervillains. That's who.

A less obvious source of power is found in nuclear medicine, which uses very small amounts of radioactive materials to diagnose and treat disease. 

If you're imagining that patients light up like a Christmas trees while being treated, you're getting a little too imaginative. It's a useful diagnostic tool for doctors, as it can show physical issues and diseases from the inside out, rather than the outside in like X-rays (source). 

Nuclear medicine gives us PET scans, which are used to provide information about tissue or organ damage. Certain nuclear isotopes can even be used in treatment—thyroid cancer is treated with radioactive iodine, and that remains one of the most beatable cancers in history.

Even with all this power, you're still very much operating at the pleasure of the United States. If you work in a nuclear power plant, you've been thoroughly vetted (and not in a nice, gentle way either) and the government can run an inspection at any time.

There's a certain amount of social power you receive from being a nuclear scientist, but it's not the kind that allows you to call up the president and ask for weekend use of Air Force One.