What Do Nuclear Power Reactor Operators Do (including Their Typical Day At Work)

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Job Description, Daily Responsibilities, and Work Life.

Job Description

Nuclear Power Reactor Operators 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. They also operate nuclear power reactors in accordance with policies and procedures to protect workers from radiation and to ensure environmental safety.

Other tasks include:

  • 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.
  • Direct reactor operators in emergency situations, in accordance with emergency operating procedures.
  • 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.

We asked Nuclear Power Reactor Operators how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

Job satisfaction

63%

How meaningful is this job

72%


63% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 72% said they find that their job makes the world a better place or helps to make someone else’s life better.



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Typical Day At Work

On a daily basis, Nuclear Power Reactor Operators 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. They operate nuclear power reactors in accordance with policies and procedures to protect workers from radiation and to ensure environmental safety.

A typical day for a Nuclear Power Reactor Operator will also include:

  • Monitor or operate boilers, turbines, wells, or auxiliary power plant equipment.
  • Dispatch orders or instructions to personnel through radiotelephone or intercommunication systems to coordinate auxiliary equipment operation.
  • Authorize maintenance activities on units or changes in equipment or system operational status.
  • 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.
  • Record operating data, such as the results of surveillance tests.

We asked some Nuclear Power Reactor Operators a few questions to find out what else does their work day look like. Here is what we found.

Do you have telephone conversations everyday in this job?97% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job?89% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job?100% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job?8% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job?18% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job?71% said yes

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Nuclear Power Reactor Operators also authorize actions to correct identified operational inefficiencies or hazards so that operating efficiency is maximized and potential environmental issues are minimized. They may also conduct inspections or operations outside of control rooms as necessary.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Nuclear Power Reactor Operators 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. They might also Develop or implement actions such as lockouts, tagouts, or clearances to allow equipment to be safely repaired.

In addition, they Authorize maintenance activities on units or changes in equipment or system operational status.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them Note malfunctions of equipment, instruments, or controls and report these conditions to supervisors.

To some Nuclear Power Reactor Operators, it is also their responsibility to Respond to system or unit abnormalities, diagnosing the cause, and recommending or taking corrective action.


Working life

Working hours

More than 40 hours per week

Working schedule

Regular schedule like a 9 to 5

In a typical work week as a Nuclear Power Reactor Operator, you can expect to work more than 40 hours per week.

Do Nuclear Power Reactor Operators work in an office-style work environment?

Every day
99%


Once a week
1%


Do Nuclear Power Reactor Operators work outdoors?

Once a year
46%


Never
30%



Is this right for me

Best personality for this career

The Builders and The Organizers

People who are suitable for this job tends to like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery..

They also like following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas.

You can read more about these career personality types here.




Learn more about Nuclear Power Reactor Operators

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Related to Nuclear Power Reactor Operators Job Description

Nuclear Power Reactor Operators job description, what do Nuclear Power Reactor Operators do, typical day for Nuclear Power Reactor Operators, what is it like to work as a Nuclear Power Reactor Operator, how many hours do Nuclear Power Reactor Operators work, day to day work of a Nuclear Power Reactor Operator

Additional resources

http://www.bls.gov/OOH/production/power-plant-operators-distributors-and-dispatchers.htm
http://www.publicpower.org/
http://www.ibew.org/
http://www.nerc.com/


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