Nuclear Power Reactor Operators

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About the Job

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.

It is also Called

  • Nuclear Operator
  • Nuclear Plant Equipment Operator
  • Nuclear Plant Operator (NPO)
  • Nuclear Power Plant Process Control Worker
  • Nuclear Power Reactor Operator
  • Nuclear Reactor Operator
  • Control Room Operator
  • Control Room Supervisor
  • Licensed Nuclear Control Room Operator
  • Licensed Reactor Operator

What They Do

  • 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.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: RCE.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Realistic interests, but also prefer Conventional and Enterprising environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Support, but also value Working Conditions and Achievement in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Physics - Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Education Required

Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

LMI Region

Wages

In 2012, the average annual wage in New Jersey was $77,530 with most people making between $50,770 and $105,080

Outlook

During 2008, this occupation employed approximately 150 people in New Jersey. It is projected that there will be 150 employed in 2018.

This occupation will have approximately - job openings annually.

Industries that Employ this Occupation

Industry breakdown is not available for this occupation