Profession nuclear reactor operator

Nuclear reactor operators directly control nuclear reactors in power plants from control panels, and are solely responsible for the alterations in reactor reactivity. They start up operations and react to changes in status such as casualties and critical events. They monitor parameters and ensure compliance with safety regulations.

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Personality Type

  • Enterprising / Realistic
  • Realistic / Conventional
  • Realistic / Investigative

Knowledge

  • Electricity

    Understand the principles of electricity and electrical power circuits, as well as the associated risks.

  • Thermodynamics

    The branch of physics that deals with the relationships between heat and other forms of energy..

  • Contamination exposure regulations

    The regulations concerning exposure to contaminated materials or a hazardous environment which regulate the actions surrounding risk assessment, minimisation of further exposure, quarantine, and treatment of the exposed persons.

  • Hydraulics

    The power transmission systems that use the force of flowing liquids to transmit power.

  • Mechanical engineering

    Discipline that applies principles of physics, engineering and materials science to design, analyse, manufacture and maintain mechanical systems.

  • Nuclear energy

    The generation of electrical energy through the use of nuclear reactors, by converting the energy released from nuclei of atoms in reactors which generate heat. This heat subsequently generates steam which can power a steam turbine to generate electricity.

  • Metrology

    The methods and theory of measurement in a scientific context, including internationally accepted units of measurement, practical realisation of these units, and interpretation of measurements.

  • Radioactive contamination

    The different causes of the presence of radioactive substances in liquids, solids, or gases or on surfaces, and the manner in which to identify the types of contaminants, their risks, and the contaminants' concentration.

  • Technical drawings

    Drawing software and the various symbols, perspectives, units of measurement, notation systems, visual styles and page layouts used in technical drawings.

  • Radiation protection

    The measures and procedures used to protect people and the environment from the harmful effects of ionizing radiation.

  • Automation technology

    Set of technologies that make a process, system, or apparatus operate automatically through the use of control systems.

  • Pneumatics

    The application of pressurised gas to produce mechanical motion.

Skills

  • Avoid contamination

    Avoid the mixing or contamination of materials.

  • Respond to nuclear emergencies

    Set in motion the strategies for reacting in the event of equipment malfunctions, errors, or other events which may lead to contamination and other nuclear emergencies, ensuring that the facility is secured, all necessary areas are evacuated, and further damages and risks are contained.

  • Resolve equipment malfunctions

    Identify, report and repair equipment damage and malfunctions; communicate with field representatives and manufacturers to obtain repair and replacement components.

  • Operate computerised control systems

    Operate electronic or computerised control panels to monitor and optimise processes, and to control process start-up and shut-downs. Monitor and inspect equipment and systems to detect malfunctions.

  • Ensure equipment cooling

    Make sure the machines and installations are properly supplied with air and coolants in order to prevent overheating and other malfunctions.

  • Follow nuclear plant safety precautions

    Comply with nuclear power plant safety procedures, policies and legislation to ensure a safe working environment for all employees, and to ensure the safety of the public.

  • Ensure compliance with environmental legislation

    Monitor activities and perform tasks ensuring compliance with standards involving environmental protection and sustainability, and amend activities in the case of changes in environmental legislation. Ensure that the processes are compliant with environment regulations and best practices.

  • Monitor radiation levels

    Use measuring and testing equipment and techniques to identify the levels of radiation or radioactive substances in order to control exposure and minimise health, safety, and environmental risks.

  • Use remote control equipment

    Use a remote control to operate equipment. Watch the equipment closely while operating, and use any sensors or cameras to guide your actions.

  • Ensure compliance with radiation protection regulations

    Make sure the company and the employees implement the legal and operational measures established to guarantee protection against radiation.

  • Monitor nuclear power plant systems

    Control nuclear plant systems, such as ventilation and water draining systems, to ensure proper functioning and identify irregularities.

Optional knowledge and skills

instruct employees on radiation protection perform risk analysis electric generators monitor disposal of radioactive substances test safety strategies wear appropriate protective gear nuclear reprocessing monitor electric generators calculate exposure to radiation coordinate electricity generation respond to electrical power contingencies manage emergency evacuation plans design strategies for nuclear emergencies ensure compliance with electricity distribution schedule electrical power safety regulations adapt energy distribution schedules liaise with engineers