Career Path > Navy:Getting Out

Leading ELT on the way out

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Rad Sponge:
Name is Jason and I will soon be honorably seperating from the Navy. I am an MM1/LELT and have a BA in Natural Science/Mathematics from TESC.

I've started sending out resumes and have contacted a few head hunters. Luck would have it that Duke invited me to SC for testing, etc, but I would not be discharged soon enough.

I am looking for some no-BS "what's it really like" kind of insight.

What is it truely like to be a Non Licensed Operator? Is it as bad as back to back patrols as ERLL/ERF day after day or is it a bit more mentally challenging?

I have done rotating shift work as a prototype instructor and that was pretty crappy, however the way the Duke rep explained it there were 4-7 day breaks every few shift cycles. Is this correct? Is civilian shift rotation less irritating than prototype?

What about being a LELT? Are there chemistry jobs out there where I can just be a chemist and focus on plant chemistry rather than juggle 4 different hats?

Finally, my wife would love for me to remain in Florida. I see that Turkey Point has a vacancy for NLO and Plant Chemist. Any insight into FP&L?

That's all. This board is great, so much knowledge and experience. I look forward to your reply.



Roll Tide:
Welcome! And thanks for the years of service you have given your country!

I will answer a couple of your points, and I encourage you to read all of the "Navy Nuke: Getting Out" daughter board. Many of these questions have been answered by people more knowledgeable than me!

What's it really like as NLO?
40 hours of straight time. Anything over that per week is overtime. That means if they require you to be there, they pay you for it. If you work 72 hours in a week (which will be very rare, but happens during refueling outages), you will be paid an obscene amount of money.
Operations as an NLO should be mentally challenging. If you do the least possible with the least understanding it might not be, but you should dig deep into every job you tackle in order to understand it. You aren't doing maintenance, but you are operating the plant. The division of labor is different than a submarine, and management does not want the control room staff compared to Maneuvering watchstanders. There are some parallels, but not exact.

Rotating shift work as bad as prototype?
See previous question!
Also, you will be scheduled for 7-8 days off every 5 weeks (unless you are in an outage). Some people work on those days off, others don't. It depends on the staffing where you work on availability of OT.

Turkey Point?
That's a great place to get in and move up quickly. That means that many people leave there every year. If you like the area (snorkeling and saltwater fishing) and don't have kids you may love it. If you have kids but homeschool or send them to private school you may love it. There are good public schools in the area, but it is expensive to be in those districts.
I guess you are at Kings Bay, since you mention living in Florida. You do realize that Charlotte is probably as close as Turkey point, right? There are good reasons to go to Turkey Point, but similarity and proximity to Kings Bay are not reasons to go to Turkey Point!
Read the "Talk about: Turkey Point" thread for more info.


As far as being a NLO, we operate all the equipment in the plant, manual valves, check that motors/pumps ready to be started, oil levels, valve lineups, check local valve position on motor operated valves, operate EDGs, etc.  The logs (rounds) that you take are equal to the logs that you performed in the Navy however the buildings are much larger and you will have the whole day to get one set done.  This means that you actually have time to look over the equipment better than just getting numbers.  If you have rounds, you have the entire building such as Turbine, Reactor, Outside, and Radwaste. (May be different at each plant)  Much of the other work that NLOs are required to perform is tagging (mechanical and electrical) for maintenance. 

Try here for some shift schedules.  I did the shift work at NY Prototype and this is much better.,4202.0.html

Being an NLO is one of the best damn jobs in the world. I didn't move up the pipeline because I hated being an NLO. If I was told tomorrow I had to go back to being an NLO I'd do it in a heartbeat.

By the way, just about any job will put you on Shift Rotation.

If Florida doesn;t work out check out the Browns Ferry NLO on the TVA website.

Working at a BWR was quite nice.


Mike and Shayne

You guys must be working the nightshift tonight like me.  NLO is a great job.  We see a ton of guys go in the Control Room only to wish they could go back to being an AO.  The shift work is not so bad either.  Our Schedule is as follows  3 nights 4 days off, 4 days 6 days off, 4 nights 4days off, 3 days 1 day off, 4 days training 2 days off, and start it all over again.  Lots of days off 16 hours built in overtime every 5 weeks.


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