What does a Nuclear Power Reactor Operator 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.

Jobs Roles

  • Adjust controls to position rod and to regulate flux level, reactor period, coolant temperature, or rate of power flow, following standard 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.
  • Implement operational procedures, such as those controlling start-up or shut-down activities.
  • Note malfunctions of equipment, instruments, or controls and report these conditions to supervisors.
  • 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.
  • Record operating data, such as the results of surveillance tests.
  • 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.
  • Develop or implement actions such as lockouts, tagouts, or clearances to allow equipment to be safely repaired.
  • Review and edit standard operating procedures.
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