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Nuclear Power Reactor Operators

Also called: Nuclear Control Operator, Nuclear Reactor Operator, Nuclear Station Operator (NSO), Reactor Operator (RO)

What they do:
Operate or control nuclear reactors. Move control rods, start and stop equipment, monitor and adjust controls, and record data in logs. Implement emergency procedures when needed. May respond to abnormalities, determine cause, and recommend corrective action.
On the job, you would:
  • 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.

Knowledge

Math and Science
  • physics
  • arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
Engineering and Technology
  • mechanical
  • product and service development
Safety and Government
  • public safety and security

Skills

Basic Skills
  • reading work related information
  • keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements
Problem Solving
  • noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
People and Technology Systems
  • thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
  • figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it

Abilities

Verbal
  • communicate by speaking
  • listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
  • notice when problems happen
  • order or arrange things
Visual Understanding
  • quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things
  • see hidden patterns
Attention
  • pay attention to something without being distracted

Personality

People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
They do well at jobs that need:
  • Attention to Detail
  • Integrity
  • Dependability
  • Stress Tolerance
  • Analytical Thinking
  • Adaptability/Flexibility

Technology

You might use software like this on the job:

Data base user interface and query software
  • Data logging software
  • Plant information data entry software
Spreadsheet software
  • Microsoft Excel

Education

Education: (rated 3 of 5)
high school diploma/GED or
certificate after high school
usually needed

Get started on your career:

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Job Outlook

Below Average Outlook
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.
Salary
$78,350
per year, on average
Green
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See more details at O*NET OnLine about nuclear power reactor operators.