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nocarbon

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graduating soon, considering nuclear career
« on: Mar 20, 2007, 11:24 »
hi all,

this is my first post, so thanks in advance for any replies. I have one semester remaining before i graduate with a BS in mechanical engineering from UF. As I begin narrowing in on the industry i want to work in, nuclear energy has become of interest to me. I took the POSS test during an FPL recruiting session a year ago and passed it, and have been contacted by FPL recruiters regarding non-licensed operator training after i graduate. so a few questions.

what opportunities are opened by passing the POSS test, and what does a non-licensed operator do?
What is the difference between a non-licensed and licensed operator, and what is the general career path of a new graduate with my degree?
what is to be expected in terms of general culture and conditions in the industry?

any advice is welcome.

thanks. 
« Last Edit: Mar 20, 2007, 11:25 by nocarbon »

thenuttyneutron

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Re: graduating soon, considering nuclear career
« Reply #1 on: Mar 21, 2007, 12:55 »
Get 3 years of experience as a NLO and then you can go for an Instant SRO position.  NLO is a job that pays very well and can lead to getting a license from the NRC.  NLO are the people that operate the plant in the field.  The job entails performing tests on equipment, performing valve line-ups, possible breaker racking activities, and fire birgade duties.  To get a license you must go to RO/SRO class for 18-24 months and pass the class/final exams.  Licensed people are in the control room.

Offline Roll Tide

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Re: graduating soon, considering nuclear career
« Reply #2 on: Mar 21, 2007, 07:02 »
Before accepting a position with FP&L, scout out the area where you will be employed.
Talk to people that you will be working with (if your interview is at the plant, it will be close enough to the Training Center to talk to a current class as well as a Requal crew). Say "YES" to anything they offer to show you (simulator, plant tour, training center tour, etc.) There is no such thing as being too informed on taking a new position.

The mechanical engineering degree combined with NLO experience would put you in a very good position to pass SRO class.

I spent a few years at Turkey Point, as well as a couple of outages at St. Lucie.
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jobsandwich

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Re: graduating soon, considering nuclear career
« Reply #3 on: Mar 22, 2007, 04:41 »
why are you guys advised this person to take the slow road?
Do not take an NLO position, you are an engineer. Take an engineering position and if it's what you choose you can attend SRO school without three years turning valves. Engineering leads to SRO leads to management. Very few NLO's are degree'd

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Re: graduating soon, considering nuclear career
« Reply #4 on: Mar 22, 2007, 06:51 »
He didn't ask about Engineering positions. If he did, I would have told him to go NLO instead. With the turnover at that plant, he will be in SRO class less than 1 year after completion of NLO training. The NLO training will prepare him for a license class, a position in Engineering will not.

Getting the SRO leads to management
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
.....
And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

thenuttyneutron

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Re: graduating soon, considering nuclear career
« Reply #5 on: Mar 22, 2007, 01:32 »
With all the tribal knowledge that is unique to each plant, I think taking the NLO is the fastest/best way to go SRO.  You will learn the plant and operate it.  There have been many occasions where the operators have to tell the engineer how to fix a problem on a project they are working on. 

Engineers lose sight of the overall picture and how other systems interrelate.  This causes a severe case of myopia that will result in inattention to details.  Just my opinion, but I think a degreed NLO going for a license will have a better chance of success.

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Re: graduating soon, considering nuclear career
« Reply #6 on: Mar 22, 2007, 01:36 »
One of the AUO trainees in my class at PTN had just transferred from Engineering (with $1 per hour pay RAISE to become an AUO Trainee!)
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
.....
And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

nocarbon

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Re: graduating soon, considering nuclear career
« Reply #7 on: Mar 22, 2007, 11:22 »
thanks for the responses.

thats interesting to hear that few non-licensed operators are degreed. How much technical work does an NLO do? i didn't spend the last 4 years working on this degree to not use any of it, but at the same time i really enjoy doing hands-on stuff (i currently work as a bike mechanic, always loved tinkering). do the engineers get out in the plant itself much or is it 100% office time?  is compensation similar between an entry level engineer and a NLO?
« Last Edit: Mar 22, 2007, 11:24 by nocarbon »

thenuttyneutron

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Re: graduating soon, considering nuclear career
« Reply #8 on: Mar 23, 2007, 12:26 »
The place I work at pays about $52k starting out for an engineer.  My first full year of service had an outage and I made more than that by a long shot.  I have only seen an engineer in the plant a few times and on one occation I had to show the guy where the equipment was.  Engineers from what I have seen have very little hands on work in the plant.

I have been told that SROs make about 100k a year once licensed.  I have also been told that a person going for a license that is not in the union will start at about 80k a year.  I have no idea on how accurate this is, but I do trust the source.  NLO is not a bad way to learn about the industry.  After a year you will have a good idea of what you want to do.  There is nothing that says you can't move to an engineering spot after becoming a qualified NLO.

alphadude

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Re: graduating soon, considering nuclear career
« Reply #9 on: Mar 23, 2007, 02:33 »
the NLO training is a fast track. take what they offer, tell them you want to be a STA (shift technical adviser). The reason you were offered NLO it to size you up. If you excell at this you WILL move on rather quickly. BS ME are common- so they have some interest in you. If you do well, you will be picked up by another department in 6-8 months.

 


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