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klwmsrd

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Hello,

I'm helping a university develop a nuclear education program and need to get some background information on the education requirements to work in a nuclear power plant.  I've searched the forums but I've just become more confused.  The main thing I'm looking for is how do you become a RO or SRO?  Do you need a degree (i.e. BS in engineering) for these positions?  It seems to me that the eduational background of ROs/SROs is varied.  Some people started right out of HS and worked their way up while others have BS or MS degrees in engineering. 

Also, the training that is required by NRC to become an RO or SRO - is this offered only at the power plant you are working in or is this training offered at colleges? 

The university I'm working with wants to offer classes that will satisfy requirements for NRC training to become an RO or SRO - is this even possible?  They also want to offer continuing education classes that would satisfy requirements to keep RO/SRO licenses.  What do you think of this?  So far, it looks to me like you can only receive this training through the power plant you work at. 

Thanks for any insight you can give me.

Offline Roll Tide

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Re: Education and training required to work in nuclear
« Reply #1 on: Sep 27, 2007, 12:06 »
Currently there are 3 external (or mostly external) programs devoted to educating Nukes that are advertising on Nukeworker (see link)

http://www.nukeworker.com/forum/index.php/topic,11777.0.html

While the thread is discussing Rad Con, it applies for other programs as well.
Look at what is offered by EPCE especially, and this should tell you what your program should entail.

As far as the RO / SRO license, you can only get that from the NRC by completing the utility course. If you are close to a nuke site, you may want to partner to teach GFES (Generic Fundamentals) and give ACE credits to licensed operators towards degree completion with you. That was all the rage in the 70's and 80's at many plants, and may become popular again.

Also look at  www.nrc.gov  to see what they have to say about license training. It is a good overview.
And maybe you could figure out a way to offer "SRO certification" on a new plant design, such as the AP1000 by partnering with Westinghouse.

Hope this gets you started!
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klwmsrd

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Re: Education and training required to work in nuclear
« Reply #2 on: Sep 27, 2007, 12:38 »
Thanks for this info!

Is there an advantage to enrolling in one of these three programs rather than getting a BS in nuclear engineering from another school - for example Penn State University?  It looks like the three programs advertised on this site might be more technical?

Do you have to have a degree to become a RO/SRO?  Would a Master's get you any further or help you get to RO/SRO faster than a AS or BS degree?


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Re: Education and training required to work in nuclear
« Reply #3 on: Sep 27, 2007, 01:05 »
Some utilities require an A.S. in a related field or a B.S. in any field (or Navy Nuke) in order to be considered for OPS training programs.

A Master's Degree could help in certain positions above Shift Operations (OPS Manager some plants, Plant Manager or Site VP at some other plants). But there is probably no advantage of a Master's over a B.S. for getting RO/SRO license.

The programs advertised are accurately labelled technical. Typically these offer "Engineering Technology" vice "Engineering" degrees, because the operators are not typically going to be engineers. There are engineers who decide to become operators, but it is not a necessity.
I based my assumptions on the program you are considering to be in a similar outlook to the ads I pointed out. These are quite distinct from the schools out there with Nuclear Engineering BS / MS programs.

The advantage to one of these programs vice Penn State would be time, distance, and $$. 2 years after being hired by a commercial nuclear power plant, an AUO (not licensed RO/SRO, but waiting for an opportunity to go to license class) will be making $60K per year before overtime (at some sites making over $100K by working lots of OT). That is better than starting pay for many engineers, and the top end is higher than for most engineers.

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Offline Nuclear Renaissance

Re: Education and training required to work in nuclear
« Reply #4 on: Sep 27, 2007, 03:52 »
I was at a university where the engineering college offered a pair of 3-credit hour technical elective courses where the students studied and tested on 12 weeks of nonlicensed operator systems classes based from a nearby BWR and PWR (3 credits each technology). It was through a partnership between one of the university's professors and the nuclear utilities, and was attractive to the utilities because they tended to find B.S. and M.S. graduates who have taken these courses to be good candidates for Operations Engineers, STAs and potential SROs.

thenuttyneutron

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Re: Education and training required to work in nuclear
« Reply #5 on: Sep 27, 2007, 07:26 »
The ANSI standards require only 1 position to have a 4 year degree.  This is the reactor engineer.  I recommend you look at the INPO guidelines for the information you want.  Most companies will not deviate from the INPO recommendations.  The STAs do not even need to have a 4 year degree.  They are only required to have certain math and physics classes.  I think you will be hard pressed to find any STA that don’t have 4 year technical degrees.  The NRC requires 6 months onsite to go to a license class. 


The INPO guidelines:

Plant Engineers need 3 years of experience to go to class as an Instant SRO.  They can use 2 years of academic experience for part of that time.  It is possible to go to SRO training in as little as 1 year on site starting with no experience.

Operator with 4 year tech degree:  3 years of experience as a qualified operator.  The 3 years is not completely defined.  I have been told this means a fully qualified NLO.  Others have said it means 3 years since your first Zone qual.

RO upgrade to SRO:  Again 3 years of experience at a similar Plant design.  If you have a RO license, you most likely will get a SRO license on the Unit you are currently licensed at.

RO just requires a HS education.  Most of the ROs at my site were Navy Nukes.  Navy Nukes are very popular choices for Operations.
« Last Edit: Sep 27, 2007, 07:31 by Nutty Neutron »

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Re: Education and training required to work in nuclear
« Reply #6 on: Sep 28, 2007, 06:47 »
Thinking outside the box (for the US): UK is addressing the projected shortfall of qualified employees in Nuclear differently (setting up a "National Skills Academy")

http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/newNuclear/National_Skills_Academy_approved_for_UK_nuclear_industry-250907.shtml
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Offline Rennhack

Re: Education and training required to work in nuclear
« Reply #7 on: Sep 28, 2007, 09:02 »
Thinking outside the box (for the US): UK is addressing the projected shortfall of qualified employees in Nuclear differently (setting up a "National Skills Academy")

http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/newNuclear/National_Skills_Academy_approved_for_UK_nuclear_industry-250907.shtml

That would be a great thing for the US.  A "Nuke'Em High"...

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Re: Education and training required to work in nuclear
« Reply #8 on: Sep 28, 2007, 09:17 »
That would be a great thing for the US.  A "Nuke'Em High"...

I may bring that up to the EPCOT (Ernest Pruett Center of Technology, Hollywood, AL) director as a possibility. They could work out something with TVA and the local college to make something like this work, if TVA gets serious about Bellefonte construction. 


Yeah, I know, every topic I post on becomes Bellefonte.  ::)
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.
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klwmsrd

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Re: Education and training required to work in nuclear
« Reply #9 on: Sep 28, 2007, 10:21 »
I appreciate the information.  The school is trying to develop a program to address the projected shortage of workers.  They already have an engineering program but I think want to focus more on the technical positions.  Their initial focus was on non-credit training to prepare people to work in the nuclear power plant.  However, from the information I've gathered here it seems that most training is within each plant and there are few external sources of training (i.e. colleges), but there may be some possibility of partnering with utility companies to provide parts of this training and perhaps offer credits towards degrees for the training.  Does that sound like a possibility?

It also sounds like for many positions on-the-job training and/or experience is more important than an actual degree, although technical degrees such as those offered at Linn and Excelsior are becoming more popular? 

Thank you for anwering my questions.  I didn't know anything about this field until I was asked to work on this project - I find it very interesting and have learned a lot about nuclear energy.


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Re: Education and training required to work in nuclear
« Reply #10 on: Sep 28, 2007, 01:25 »
there may be some possibility of partnering with utility companies to provide parts of this training and perhaps offer credits towards degrees for the training.  Does that sound like a possibility?


Absolutely. When my dad started in the TVA Nuke program in 1981, they had partnerships with some local colleges. Here is my recollections from 25 years ago (anyone with better info feel free to contribute):

Fundamentals was taught by Chatt. State for AUO, with TVA teaching systems. Then you could get the other requirements (History, Writing, and 2 electives I think) from Chatt. State for an A.S. in Applied Nuclear Technology.

There was a similar program for a B.S. for RO, with some Graduate credit for SRO (I forget if that was through UMUC (Maryland) or UT-Chattanooga).

For a while the industry was pressured for degrees, but much of the artificial pressures for degrees (along with ties and sport coats in the control room!) are now gone. But many still want the degree due to their internal desire / drive for advancement down the road.
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.

Offline B.PRESGROVE

Re: Education and training required to work in nuclear
« Reply #11 on: Nov 17, 2007, 09:07 »
I know I am late in this post, but when I got into the nuke field I was working on my 2 year AAS at our local Tech College.  Our local DOE site cooped with the are Colleges to offer a program of specific training classes (accredited engineering technology course of study) to get folks jobs in either HP, OPS, or Lab Techs.  I graduated and went to work as an HP.  I am finding out though that while a degree will help getting you a job at a commercial site, the most important thing is experiance.  With such a looming shortage of workers even a little experiance can open doors. 


 


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