Nuclear Power Reactor Operators

Description

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.

Tasks

  • Adjust controls to position rod and to regulate flux level, reactor period, coolant temperature, or rate of power flow, following standard procedures.
  • Implement operational procedures, such as those controlling start-up or shut-down activities.
  • 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.
  • Note malfunctions of equipment, instruments, or controls and report these conditions to supervisors.
  • Record operating data, such as the results of surveillance tests.
  • Dispatch orders or instructions to personnel through radiotelephone or intercommunication systems to coordinate auxiliary equipment operation.
  • Monitor or operate boilers, turbines, wells, or auxiliary power plant equipment.
  • Participate in nuclear fuel element handling activities, such as preparation, transfer, loading, or unloading.
  • Conduct inspections or operations outside of control rooms as necessary.
  • Direct reactor operators in emergency situations, in accordance with emergency operating procedures.
  • Authorize maintenance activities on units or changes in equipment or system operational status.
  • Authorize actions to correct identified operational inefficiencies or hazards so that operating efficiency is maximized and potential environmental issues are minimized.
  • Direct measurement of the intensity or types of radiation in work areas, equipment, or materials.
  • Direct the collection and testing of air, water, gas, or solid samples to determine radioactivity levels or to ensure appropriate radioactive containment.
  • Identify or direct implementation of appropriate decontamination procedures, based on equipment and the size, nature, and type of contamination.
  • Operate nuclear power reactors in accordance with policies and procedures to protect workers from radiation and to ensure environmental safety.
  • Supervise technicians' work activities to ensure that equipment is operated in accordance with policies and procedures that protect workers from radiation and ensure environmental safety.

Knowledge

History and Archeology
Knowledge of historical events and their causes, indicators, and effects on civilizations and cultures.
Medicine and Dentistry
Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
Economics and Accounting
Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
Geography
Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
Therapy and Counseling
Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
Sociology and Anthropology
Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
Philosophy and Theology
Knowledge of different philosophical systems and religions. This includes their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and their impact on human culture.
Food Production
Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.
Foreign Language
Knowledge of the structure and content of a foreign (non-English) language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar, and pronunciation.

Skills

Equipment Maintenance
Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
Repairing
Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
Operations Analysis
Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
Technology Design
Generating or adapting equipment and technology to serve user needs.
Equipment Selection
Determining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
Installation
Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.

Abilities

Static Strength
The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
Gross Body Equilibrium
The ability to keep or regain your body balance or stay upright when in an unstable position.
Dynamic Strength
The ability to exert muscle force repeatedly or continuously over time. This involves muscular endurance and resistance to muscle fatigue.
Extent Flexibility
The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
Gross Body Coordination
The ability to coordinate the movement of your arms, legs, and torso together when the whole body is in motion.
Stamina
The ability to exert yourself physically over long periods of time without getting winded or out of breath.
Peripheral Vision
The ability to see objects or movement of objects to one's side when the eyes are looking ahead.
Speed of Limb Movement
The ability to quickly move the arms and legs.
Spatial Orientation
The ability to know your location in relation to the environment or to know where other objects are in relation to you.
Sound Localization
The ability to tell the direction from which a sound originated.

Work Activities

Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

Interests

Realistic
Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Conventional
Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Enterprising
Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
Investigative
Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Artistic
Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
Social
Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Work Style

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Analytical Thinking
Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Self Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Achievement/Effort
Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Persistence
Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

Work Values

Support
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
Working Conditions
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Achievement
Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Recognition
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.
Relationships
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Independence
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

Lay Titles

Control Room Supervisor
Licensed Reactor Operator
Non-Licensed Operator (NLO)
Nuclear Control Operator
Nuclear Control Room Non-Licensed Operator
Nuclear Control Room Operator
Nuclear Operator
Nuclear Plant Equipment Operator
Nuclear Plant Operator (NPO)
Nuclear Power Reactor Operator
Nuclear Reactor Operator
Nuclear Reactor Unlicensed Operator
Nuclear Station Operating Engineer
Nuclear Station Operator
Nuclear Supervising Operator (NSO)
Nuclear Unit Operator
Power Reactor Operator
Reactor Operator (RO)
Unit Reactor Operator
Waste Control Operator

National Wages and Employment Info

Median Wages (2008):
$36.05 hourly, $74,990 annual.
Employment (2008):
7,140 employees