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RxW592638

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NLO Training
« on: Aug 15, 2006, 07:13 »
Curious about the level of difficulty of NLO classroom training at commercial plants compared to the training at Naval Nuclear Power School.

Any comments from anyone?

shayne

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Re: NLO Training
« Reply #1 on: Aug 15, 2006, 07:35 »
Easy compaired to NPS.  It is more like Prototype classroom phase, just little more detail and many more larger systems.  About 6 months of classroom covering systems, admin, firefighting, etc.  Then about a year of doing quals in the plant.

Offline Roll Tide

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Re: NLO Training
« Reply #2 on: Aug 16, 2006, 08:37 »
I wasn't in the "kinder, gentler" NNPS, but there is no comparison. Any Navy Nuke will be successful with 40 dedicated hours per week in NLO training. I have seen Navy Nukes be successful with much less than 40 hours of dedication per week.
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RxW592638

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Re: NLO Training
« Reply #3 on: Aug 16, 2006, 02:19 »
Not sure what Roll Tide means by 40 dedicated hours per week.

Is this 40 hours in the classroom or an additional 40 hours of self study outside the classroom per week?

Also, is there homework, required reading, etc... performed after classroom instruction has ended and, if so, is this time compensated by the company?

Specific info on Exelon's NLO training programs would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

shayne

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Re: NLO Training
« Reply #4 on: Aug 16, 2006, 02:30 »
40 hours is your classroom and study time.  Classroom time may be only 25-30 hours a week, and the other 15-10 hours is for your study/reading/etc.  I don't think too many companies will let you work over 40 hours/week for the classroom phase, but there could be some exceptions. 

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Re: NLO Training
« Reply #5 on: Aug 16, 2006, 03:12 »
They won't pay you over 40 hours most places. BUT if you use that 40 hours, it will be enough. If you shoot the breeze during the 40 hours, you may need to make up for it during your own time.
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Offline hamsamich

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Re: NLO Training
« Reply #6 on: Aug 16, 2006, 04:21 »
At brunswick in 1997 NLO class, we were allowed some extra time to study for overtime....5 or 10 hours I think?  But you had to get it approved thru your supervisor, usually a CRS (control room sup).  You could study your notes and material at home if you wanted to.  We ended up working about 35 hours a week on average.  Some who were barely passing stayed over, but most left somewhat early.

It was fairly hard, but not nearly as hard as NPS.  Comparing it to prototype classroom phase is good....but sometimes the quality of the training program/instructors won't be as good or as "cut and dry" as the Nav.  You realize this when a couple questions pop up on the test that aren't in any of the training material or your notes or the instructors mouth...our's were good though, but I've heard some horror stories.  Mainly horror stories about Lic. Class though.  A site would have to be pretty screwed up to make NLO class anything below average.  If you are doing any more than 10 extra hours a week I would be surprised as an EX-Navy Nuke.

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Re: NLO Training
« Reply #7 on: Aug 16, 2006, 07:40 »
Hamsamich got it right.  NNPS and prototype told you via classroom instruction, student text or on watch all you needed to pass.  Navy volume of info was high and elivered at a faster rate but you were given all of the info.  You just had to spew the info when asked.

Civilian nuke operates under the premise that it's a "full coverage course",  what isn't covered in the classroom or textbook will be covered in the exam.  Unfortunately your grades will reflect how you learned the info.

At my first plant during initial NLO training I realized early on that there were 90 systems we were being taught that I needed to have a high level of knowledge.  That's a marked increase when to compared the number of systems from my last ship in the navy.  I also realized that the time allocated for classroom training was only to cover the high points based on instructor opinion.  The guy writing the exam might base his exam topics under separate set of opinions and still be bounded by his required objectives and knowledge & abilities requirements.

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Re: NLO Training
« Reply #8 on: Aug 17, 2006, 07:57 »
So does the process follow the same class/plant/ get signoffs training pipeline or do they do it differently.  I mean do you have to do system drawing and answer questions to get signed off on systems?  How do the process work?

Rob
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Re: NLO Training
« Reply #9 on: Aug 17, 2006, 10:00 »
Drawings vary by plant. Usedtaplant had drawings of a few very important systems, where you could get confused and mess up (such as AFW, ECCS). Basic flowpaths were required on other systems (condensate, feed).
Current plant would have you draw plumbing if the system was taught.

Either you get all clasroom and then go on shift, or phases where you get the systems for the first watchstation, then repeat. No system checkouts, but oral boards at many plants.
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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Fermi2

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Re: NLO Training
« Reply #10 on: Aug 17, 2006, 10:10 »
The Breadth of knowledge in the commercial world is a lot larger, the depth not so much. If you don't know how to read electrical, I+C, wiring diagrams, and logic prints I would suggest taking a course in them, it'll help you a lot in the commercial world.

RxW592638 atomicairedale is an Exelon NLO. He might be able to answer your questions. Given the drive towards deregulation and cutting costs I doubt anyone pays OT for Study time. When I was in NLO Initial I put in some extra time because I planned on getting into a License Class ASAP and figured it would benefit me to get as much systems knowledge as I could. It depends on what you want out of it I guess.

There was another question concerning Quals. Most commercial plants require you to do everything twice, the first time is a training sig where you get help from the Trainer. The second is an evaluation where you are expected to either simulate or perform the task without help from the evaluator.

Mike
« Last Edit: Aug 17, 2006, 10:18 by Broadzilla »

Offline ChiefRocscooter

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Re: NLO Training
« Reply #11 on: Aug 17, 2006, 10:30 »
With my ET2(6 yrs) and EMC(16+ yrs) background prints and diagrams should not be a problem.  Are there a lot of EM's and ET's that stay NLO or do a bunch move off into I&C and maint. Does being of any particular rate help going NLO or SRO?

Rob
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Fermi2

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Re: NLO Training
« Reply #12 on: Aug 17, 2006, 11:14 »
Hmmm Good question, so far as my experience goes ET/EM weren't any more likely to move to maintenance than an MM.

Proportionally (and I mean given the certain mix of ET/EM/MMs) MMs tend to be more likely to become an SRO and in most cases be a better SRO. There are exceptions of course. It's probably due to MM having to have a good understanding on how systems in the plant integrate. Its been my experience as an NLO, RO, SRO and trainer that MMs tend to catch on with commercial interrelationships better than the other ratings. Commercial plants are all about systems relationships even on the most minute scale.  Just remember, a bright guy is a bright guy regardless of specialty so what I just wrote isn't applicable to everyone of every rate.  For instance, Fermi has an SM whose intials are MK. He was an ET who graduated from an Auto Mechanics course in a VoTech HS. I've known him since I was in my teens. This guy was widely respected for his awesome technical knowledge of Mechanics, Electronics, Electricity, and Systems Relationships, he could translate this knowledge into solid planning and decision making. The reason I point this out is everytime said for the most part MMs make the better SROs this guy gets brought up and I'm always the first to say heck yeah he's as good as anyone in the business. (Plus he's a blast to party with!!!!)

My last shift at Fermi had the following mix. Keep in mind it was non standard as I had more Non Navy guys than most shifts.

SM: (me) MM/ELT NLO/RO/SRO

CRS: EM NLO/RO/SRO

Shift Engineer/STA: Non Naval Experience, Instant SRO. (The one I had just prior to leaving was an Instant SRO with a conventional ET Background. SE/STA # 1 was a Nuke Eng, Number 2 was a Mech Eng. Both were instant SROs. The Nuke Eng had worked as an STA for a few years before becoming an SRO, the Mech Eng (conventional ET) came over from Turbine Engineering.

4 ROs: One was an EM, One was an MM/ELT, one an MM who had been denuked,  the other was an ET. All were former NLOs, the MM/ELT became an SRO

8 NLOs: 3 were MMs, 2 were Non Navy with RP experience, 3 were Non Navy and had been deconners.   All were excellent operators, great decision makers and worked their butts off to help each other. Their only major fault was a total lack of respect for the Devine Beingness of their way too wise and benevolent Shift Manager.

Mike

« Last Edit: Aug 17, 2006, 11:24 by Broadzilla »

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Re: NLO Training
« Reply #13 on: Aug 17, 2006, 11:18 »
I think being an ex mechanic/trician makes the best NLO, but not by much.  Just a bit of an edge there.  And not as much help later for going for a lic.  I think a heavy ERS type person would make a killer NPO.  Or maybe the best AEA on the boat would be comparable for a trician.  I suppose if a really good Reactor Technician who loved being out in the spaces and didn't just do it as a nub but really liked it might be a uber-NPO.

Knowing how to read drawings would be a big plus.  I haven't heard of and we did not use an oral board to complete NLO class.  Later though, we did have a checkout with the SS at the end of each watchstation qual (like Reactor Building, Turbine Building, etc), and at times he might invite a CRS to help question, kinda an oral board.

Knowing system drawings would help, but the questions are usually mult. choice.  I did well in NLO because I practiced and learned the drawings just like in the Nav.  That was actually what my first and sometimes only objective was for me in NLO class was to learn the drawing and what each component did and take the test.  While the instructor was teaching, I was making a drawing then listing the functions/purposes next to each component almost everytime.

Learn Drawing, function of each component, and general location, then a last catagory I call "intangibles".  Intangibles for this discussion means "something about the system that is very important, historically, integrated plant, or overall function that isn't readily obvious or apparent".  Like knowing why dual unit cable spread rooms are now seperated by a firewall plus other fire-protections in all nuc-plants.  Browns Ferry fire.  Or, knowing most desirable sources by preference for make-up water if the fuel pool is leaking.  1,2,3 etc.  Things like that.

Fermi2

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Re: NLO Training
« Reply #14 on: Aug 17, 2006, 11:27 »
I do recommend learning to draw systems whether it's required or not. My current utility doesn't require it but I've learned to draw every one including the electrical distribution system (and the ED system here is the most MONSTROUS in the industry!, It's robust to say the least)

Mike

shayne

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Re: NLO Training
« Reply #15 on: Aug 17, 2006, 05:45 »
Just knowing how to draw systems on a basic level will certainly help you understand the system better.  I usually learned a simple one line functional block diagram type picture for all the mechanical/electrical systems (I have EM/EWS background).  It lacked the details that a P&ID type drawing had, but I could easy explain my way through the system and understood how it performs all its functions as well as its relationships with other systems.  For any exam, I would draw a functional diagram and then convert it to a P&ID type picture with pumps, valves, Hx, drains, vents, etc.  Most of the notes I did take in the classroom were on the back of the system P&ID's and often had the major flowpaths highlighted with associated notes right on the drawing.

I also found that "a lack of knowledge" is easily dismissed if you know where to get answers and can do your own research to find answers.  Although it may not get you through a closed book exam, it certainly helps when you are in the plant.  At Fermi, finishing all my quals with MK, I certainly felt I had "a lack of knowledge"


Offline ChiefRocscooter

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Re: NLO Training
« Reply #16 on: Aug 17, 2006, 07:48 »
OK how about this, do any of the classes you take to get a TESC or Excelisor Nuc degree help when working to become an NLO?  How about an RO/SRO?  I am wondering if they  difference in the degrees (ABET) and all makes a difference? (I would giv e my opinion on it but I have no true experience in civ world to base it so hearing it from you guys in the know will help.

Rob
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shayne

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Re: NLO Training
« Reply #17 on: Aug 17, 2006, 09:15 »
I didn't take any of those classes for TESC or Excelisor degree, but I don't think it would make that much of a difference.  Just having Navy Nuclear Power on your resume makes you qualified.  Getting hired as NLO would be based more on how well you will work out in operations, such as your decision making skills, team player, know when to ask questions, work safely, etc.

It is possible for a Navy Nuke with 6 years to start as NLO, move up to RO, then up to SRO in Operations.  Most of it is based on the individual and what they want to do (or willing to do).  Having a ABET degree could get you into a SRO position as an STA/Shift Engineer.

I guess it is possible that if a spot in licensing class is between you and an equal co-worker, you maybe selected for the job because of a degree.  Usually, they are going to pick the individual that will make it through the class, have good understanding of the plant, and that has the experience (decision making , team player, know when to ask questions, work safely, etc.) that will make a good RO.

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Re: NLO Training
« Reply #18 on: Aug 17, 2006, 11:30 »
if you got a piece of paper from an accredited school it should always help, especially one relevant to your field.  my buddy who has one did say he feels a degree from a more traditional school is signifigantly better, like Penn State or something like that.  but he took his  excelsior degree (i think it was called NY regents then)and turned it into an MBA from Univ. of Delaware later on.  He started out as a Non-Licsensed Operator and is now the Director of Finance for one of the major nuclear power plant companies at age 36, so it can't be that bad!!!

Trinian23

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Re: NLO Training
« Reply #19 on: Aug 18, 2006, 02:33 »
I'll try to answer a couple of your questions since I work as an NLO at an Exelon plant.

They have tried to standardize the training pipeline across our entire fleet so the information should be accurate but maybe not precise.

1) The NLO class will consist of 6 months (or so) of classroom training where you will cover GFES (general fundamentals, think heat transfer, thermo, basic physics, reactor and operational physics, etc) and then you will take a GFES final BASED on an old NRC GFES exam, so if you study the old NRC exams, you should do all right... however there is always that one question that makes you wonder. This will not be an actual NRC exam that counts towards any sort of license, just one based on old NRC exams. They will use this exam as a benchmark to determine whether or not you will be able to pass the actual NRC GFES exam when you go for your license.
During GFES you will have a lot of extra time to study and you should have no problem based on you Navy Nuke experience, I studied 1-3 hrs a day plus a little extra on the weekends.

2) After GFES, you will move into systems, this was a little harder for me (I was an EM). You won't be required to draw any systems, however, knowing how to draw a one line diagram of the system helps immensely! I studied the most during this period of time, typically 2-4 hrs a night plus around 8 hrs on the weekend. Anytime you study on your own, Exelon will not pay OT for, so it all depends on how motivated you are. Systems training was kind of a "shock" to me because I was used to the fairly simple Navy systems. In the commercial world, there are a whole bunch more systems and sometimes you spend as much time on the floor drain system as you do on the ECCS systems... this is where the quality of the instructor comes into play, the better the instructor, the more you will get out of it. You may get an Oral board during this time.

3) After Systems training, you will have (depending on the site) Radwaste Operations Center (ROC) training where they teach you the ins and outs of the ROC. Pay attention, because this will most likely be the last qual that you get and you won't recieve any more training on it.

4) After all this they move you on shift to perform the OJT/TPE portion of the quals. Exelon does position based quals vice watchstation quals, so you will qualify all of your watchstations before you are qualified to stand any of them.  This portion consists of signatures for various evolutions which require 2 sigs. The first sig is for OJT, whoever you are U/I with walks you through the evolution asking questions, etc.. similar to the Navy. The sig is for TPE (Training Performance Evaluation) where they just observe you doing the evolution with zero input, if you mess up, you don't get the sig. Different ways of messing up include not having the proper PPE, not utilizing proper Human performance techniques (i.e. STAR or Stop, Think, Act Review, similar to FOUTAP in the Navy, flagging, peer check, etc.) not placekeeping in the procedure, skipping a step, proceeding in the face of uncertainty, etc. Once all your sigs are done, you do area walkthroughs with a SRO. Then you are qualified.

Exelon has moved to the idea of hiring NLO's who they want to be SRO's because they have found that NLO's who work their way up through the ranks tend to be better SRO's and leaders, so go in with the attitude of learning. It is very easy to think that because of your Navy experience, you immediately know it all, don't fall into that trap, true, you have experience, but not the knowledge. I have been qualified for almost a year now and still annoy and bother my fellow operators with questions. The easiest trap to fall into is being to cocky and messing something up.

The whole process actually tends to be shorter then non-exelon plants. It took me about 14 months from start to finish to be fully qualified with an outage stuck in there for good measure.

I hope this helps.

Bill

RxW592638

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Re: NLO Training
« Reply #20 on: Aug 18, 2006, 02:57 »
Trianian23:

Thanks for the input.

All of the information was helpful and I'm pretty excited about starting with Exelon.

Hope others have been able to benefit from this topic I started a few days ago.

Fermi2

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Re: NLO Training
« Reply #21 on: Aug 18, 2006, 05:22 »
Which plant will you be starting at?

Mike

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Re: NLO Training
« Reply #22 on: Aug 24, 2006, 03:09 »
I'm kinda curious to see what plant you'll be starting at too... I just spoke to a representative from Exelon at Oyster Creek tonight about a NLO position. I have an interview in a couple weeks.

Fermi2

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Re: NLO Training
« Reply #23 on: Aug 24, 2006, 10:32 »
Make sure when you get a chance to ask questions that you nail them down on the status of their Operating License Renewal. Right now Oyster Creeks Operating License Expires in something like 3 or 3 years and Exelon is in a serious dog fight with some well funded groups concerning renewal of that license. At the most that facility will only be open an additional 23 years at the worst it'l be SD in something like 2009. If I had my preference I'd go to a place that has at least 10 to 12 years left on its license and is filing for license renewal.

5 Loop BWR 2s are DOSE traps in the containment.

Mike

Offline ChiefRocscooter

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Re: NLO Training
« Reply #24 on: Aug 24, 2006, 01:12 »
Does anyone think that the renewal issue might be the reason they have been listing lots of jobs all over? 
Are they having hard time keeping people who see writing on the wall?

Rob
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