Licensed And Non-Licensed Reactor Operator
Years in this Position:
Responsible for the safe operation of the Nuclear Reactor and it's ancillary systems
What I like best about my job:
Technical Job, interact throughout the plant, Many opportunities
Advice I would give to someone interested in this job:
Worked my way up through the company - started as a Document Control Technician. take advantage of opportunities.
Licensed Reactor Operators often report to the senior reactor operator who is responsible for operating a reactor's controls. Reactor operators move control rods, start and stop equipment, implement operations procedures, conduct surveillance tests and record data in logs. Qualifying for a reactor operator usually requires five years experience as a non-licensed operator, one year of training, and passing an NRC exam. Non-Licensed Operators are operators who work in the plant in support of reactor operators and senior reactor operators, assisting according to their direction. Non-licensed operators open and close valves, electrical breakers and other devices as well as directly monitor plant equipment performance.
A nuclear power plant is not all that different from coal, oil, or gas fired plants. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), part of our government, licenses the use of nuclear material and inspects users to make sure they follow the rules for safety.
The minimum requirement is a high school diploma supplemented by some amount of relevant experience (previous U.S. Navy service in nuclear ratings is very helpful). Most employers prefer trainees with two to four years of college.Must have the ability to qualify as a Radiation Protection Self Monitor.
Operators are expected to have employment growth about as fast as the average for all occupations though 2014.
Salaries vary widely. Entry level workers can have a starting pay of $25.53/hour per hour. Journey-level workers can earn $38/hour and senior-level technicians can earn $42.58/hour.
Starting salary for Apprentice Operator is $42.58/hour
Most operators work a standard 40-hour week. However, they work on a rotating schedule of 8-12 hours as 24 hour coverage is needed. During refueling outages (every 2 years), everyone works overtime 12 hours/day 6 days a week for 30 days.
Performs scheduled and routine lubrication of equipment as directed. Performs minor Operational Maintenance on equipment as directed. Performs scheduled and routine preventive maintenance on equipment as directed. Reports defective equipment to the Senior Nuclear Operator and initiates documentation to correct the defect. Cleans equipment and the exterior of Control Panels and in general, maintains good housekeeping practices in assigned areas. Checks, adjusts and replaces recorder paper and pens as directed. Maintains accurate Logs and Records of Operations of equipment in the areas of assignment. Check causes of alarms on equipment and takes such action as is necessary to protect personnel, equipment and corrects the alarm condition. Assists in operating equipment to perform chemical regeneration of treatment of Radwaste and Water Treating materials and fluids. Assists in the performance of Surveillance Tests and other tests as may be required by the Nuclear Power Plant Technical Specifications and Procedures. Maintains an active interest in the operations of the Nuclear Power Plant and through reading and study should keep current with the technological advances as they apply to the position of Auxiliary Operator A.