Nuclear Power Reactor Operator
Overview and Key Facts
High school diploma or equivalent
(Below US Average)
Jobs in 2029
What Do They Do?A nuclear power reactor operator could...
Provide assistance with the loading and unloading of nuclear fuel.
Conduct procedures that start up or shut down nuclear reactors at a power plant.
Monitor sensors to ensure that any radiation leaks are detected and addressed quickly.
Operate a specialized naval reactor that can propel a submarine.
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One in five United States homes and businesses is powered by nuclear power, and nuclear power reactor operators are the people who ensure that those reactors are operating safely and efficiently at all times. They monitor all equipment continuously, and implement procedures if malfunctions are observed. They also control and adjust the amount of power being generated, and the reactor coolant temperature as power demands change through the day and during weather events, like heat waves.
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Do You Have the Skills and Characteristics of a Nuclear Power Reactor Operator?
- Operation and Control: ? Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
- Reading Comprehension: ? Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Operation Monitoring: ? Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
- Active Listening: ? Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Monitoring: ? Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Critical Thinking: ? Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Complex Problem Solving: ? Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Writing: ? Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Judgment and Decision Making: ? Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Time Management: ? Managing one's own time and the time of others.
Core TasksThink about if you'd like the typical tasks a Nuclear Power Reactor Operator might do:
- Operate nuclear power reactors in accordance with policies and procedures to protect workers from radiation and to ensure environmental safety.
- Adjust controls to position rod and to regulate flux level, reactor period, coolant temperature, or rate of power flow, following standard procedures.
- Develop or implement actions such as lockouts, tagouts, or clearances to allow equipment to be safely repaired.
- Respond to system or unit abnormalities, diagnosing the cause, and recommending or taking corrective action.
- Monitor all systems for normal running conditions, performing activities such as checking gauges to assess output or the effects of generator loading on other equipment.
- Monitor or operate boilers, turbines, wells, or auxiliary power plant equipment.
- Implement operational procedures, such as those controlling start-up or shut-down activities.
- Record operating data, such as the results of surveillance tests.
- Note malfunctions of equipment, instruments, or controls and report these conditions to supervisors.
- Participate in nuclear fuel element handling activities, such as preparation, transfer, loading, or unloading.
- Dispatch orders or instructions to personnel through radiotelephone or intercommunication systems to coordinate auxiliary equipment operation.
- Review and edit standard operating procedures.
- Conduct inspections or operations outside of control rooms as necessary.
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