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Offline gratefulkarma

Back from the Dead...
« on: Aug 17, 2010, 04:23 »
So, in 2004, I thought I knew everything I needed to know about nuclear power after gladly accepting my honorable discharge from the Navy and literally running down the pier to get married, go to Old Dominion for chemistry, and go "live the dream"...6 years later, I find myself back in the game as a rusty (and kind of nervous) RCT at Hanford waiting for the Obama money to run out...what happened during those 6 years of darkness?...a divorce, two misdemeanors on my record, no degree from ODU (still have good standing though), and a laundry list of dead end jobs.  I am seemingly one of the very few people here at Hanford ECSTATIC that I have been given this second chance.

Since I've seen the light, I'm hell-bent on making this stint here worthwhile for a re-entry into a career in nuclear.  I've received lots of "advice" here in just a few short weeks, but would like some other ideas as well.  The plan is to stay here as long as the contract keeps me here, try to earn a NRRPT certification, get my darn degree, and try to make the jump to the commercial world as an operator or in radcon.  Any advice?  For a guy with a ton of credits combined with the Navy nuke gig, what's the best step for a BS degree?  Excelsior?  Thomas Edison?  PSU?...ODU again?...or should I just stay local and get an engineering degree from Wash State?  Anyway, any ideas would be greatly appreciated...
« Last Edit: Aug 17, 2010, 06:25 by gratefulkarma »

Offline gratefulkarma

Re: Back from the Dead...
« Reply #1 on: Aug 17, 2010, 06:27 »
So that's what I'm supposed to do...this post is off to an inglorious start...

Offline UncaBuffalo

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Re: Back from the Dead...
« Reply #2 on: Aug 17, 2010, 06:31 »
...6 years later, I find myself back in the game as a rusty (and kind of nervous) RCT at Hanford waiting for the Obama money to run out...

...The plan is to stay here as long as the contract keeps me here, try to earn a NRRPT certification, get my darn degree, and try to make the jump to the commercial world as an operator or in readcon.  Any advice? 

You pointed out the downside to being an HP/RP/RCT...it's such a small tech pool that you are subject to huge fluctuations in wages & employment as the industry changes.  Right now we are golden (due to the stimulus money)...ten years ago, we were dime-a-dozen.

I vote you go Ops...you can ALWAYS come back to RP. 

The days that I keep my gratitude higher than my expectations, I have really good days. -Ray Wylie Hubbard

Offline gratefulkarma

Re: Back from the Dead...
« Reply #3 on: Aug 17, 2010, 06:49 »
Here's the big thorny question about going into OPs...will the nicks on my record kill any chances of that?...I'm thinking that I have a two-year window out here, then who knows what's gonna happen with funding for projects (if the Republicans win both the presidency and both houses of congress by 2012, you can't tell me with a straight face that the money spigot to places like DOD and DOE get turned off immediately...they might even have MORE money funneled to them...then again, who knows!?)...
anyway, I see this chance as a time to save money (lots, I'm single with little debt and live in a cheap rental) and to finish my education...
I do have several ex-navy friends that are operators in plants in pennsylvania and they have no complaints...I would love to go that route, but I'm wondering if it's a pipe dream with a two misdemeanors from 2006 and 2008...Anyway, thanks for the advice...

Offline HydroDave63

Re: Back from the Dead...
« Reply #4 on: Aug 17, 2010, 06:54 »
Stay there, get NRRPT, finish the degree. More time to figure out what you want, and you be more competitive when you go to make that move.

Offline gratefulkarma

Re: Back from the Dead...
« Reply #5 on: Aug 17, 2010, 07:00 »
Sorry, don't understand what "delta" means?...Does your comment mean that I'm probably toast tying to work in the commerical world regardless of whether it's SRO or putting up drywall?  I was floored when I told my employers everything up front and they hired me anyway.  Is the DOE's bar for entrance lower than the commercial world?...

Offline gratefulkarma

Re: Back from the Dead...
« Reply #6 on: Aug 17, 2010, 07:03 »
AH, now I get what you mean by delta after reading your post again!....Little slow off the starting line, but I get there!....is UA unescorted access?...what's the difference between that and, say, DOE Q or L?...

Offline retread

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Re: Back from the Dead...
« Reply #7 on: Aug 17, 2010, 07:14 »
In my experience at Hanford, as long as you don't have any glaring legal problems, you get the badge.  DOE Q and L clearances are much more involved than commercial clearances, in my experience.  If you decide to go commercial, be extremely honest in answering all questions!  You'd be amazed at some of the things people have done and still got a clearance. DOE Q, not so much.
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