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Author Topic: Differences between AO, NLO, RO, and SRO  (Read 7741 times)

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Offline johnnyhqle

Differences between AO, NLO, RO, and SRO
« on: Jan 20, 2013, 06:57 »
I'm going to be graduating this May with a BS degree in chemical engineering with a concentration in nuclear engineering. I had a few questions that my advisor wasn't able to answer for me. Are AOs the bottom of this tier and you work your way up to becoming a NLO, RO and SRO?
I'm going to be taking the POSS test to become an Auxiliary Operator at a station in NH and I wanted to know where I stand and if I have any room to grow. Starting rate is about $30+/hr for AOs.

Thanks for the help,
Johnny Le

Offline dea

Re: Differences between AO, NLO, RO, and SRO
« Reply #1 on: Jan 21, 2013, 10:42 »
AO is typically the entry level for an operator. There are a variety of other names for that position such as Nuclear Systems Operator, Plant Equipment Operator. Some also have a helper positions as entry level.

NLO may be the same as AO or some places have a position in the Control Room for operations of equipment which does not affect reactivity such as diesels, Rad Waste systems, etc.

RO requires an NRC Reactor Operators License. The position is also known as Control Operator. This position operates the controls which affect reactivity, i.e reactor and turbine generator.

SRO requires an NRC Senior Reactor Operators License and is usually a supervisory position, most places have one SRO per unit, with a Shift Manager over all units.

After one year you would be eligible for a SRO license since you have a degree, though you probably won't get the opportunity for several years.

I'm not up to speed on current salaries but at a guess

AO as you noted around $30/hr

RO about $40/hr plus some type of license bonus

SRO 125K/yr

Offline spentfuel

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Re: Differences between AO, NLO, RO, and SRO
« Reply #2 on: Jan 21, 2013, 12:39 »
Ya what he said.

I have seen utilities where AO (aux operator) and NLO (non-licensed operator) are the same.  I have also seen where they are not for example some AO's are at an intermediate level between NLO and RO and at a few operate the radwaste systems in the plant.

hope that adds to the other post


Offline johnnyhqle

Re: Differences between AO, NLO, RO, and SRO
« Reply #3 on: Jan 21, 2013, 02:27 »
Thanks for the replies. I wasn't aware that some places consider AOs and NLOs to be the same thing.

Hope this helps someone some day  ;D

Offline Bradtv

Re: Differences between AO, NLO, RO, and SRO
« Reply #4 on: Jan 21, 2013, 06:35 »
You will indeed have room to grow.  There is the pipeline of AO-RO-SRO, but Operations is considered the pathway to all areas in nuclear power.  An experienced licensed (RO or SRO) operator is desirable for all sorts of departments should you decide to leave Operations.  Inquire at your prospective plant about the average time it takes for your AO/NLOs to advance to RO.  Having an engineering degree puts you in a position to possibly undertake an "Instant SRO" pathway (skipping the RO).

Keep in mind the openings for operators is currently infrequent and hired in batches... but the number of openings will be increasing due to the aging workforce.  The nuclear industry also employs a variety of engineers.  You may also look into becoming a Shift Technical Adviser eventually.

Good luck!
"Life is pleasant.  Death is peaceful.
It's the transition that's troublesome."  -Asimov


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