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jasonmsmith

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Senior Reactor Operator
« on: Apr 19, 2005, 11:01 »
I am a Naval Submarine Officer that is planning on leaving the navy within a year.  I would like to get into the training pipeline for an SRO license.  Is this an easy transition to make???  I have an engineering background in college, which hopefully will help me. 

I would also like to settle in the upper midwest, what do people think about the plants in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan?


Thanks for the info.

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Re: Senior Reactor Operator
« Reply #1 on: Apr 19, 2005, 01:18 »
The first thing to do is a search of the site using SRO as a criteria.  You'll probably find most of the answers you're looking for.  If you've still got questions feel free to post them and someone will have the answer.  Welcome to Nukeworker.
"There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge."

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halflifer

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Re: Senior Reactor Operator
« Reply #2 on: Apr 19, 2005, 03:11 »
I'm assuming that you are a Nuke officer. In any event, the most common path to SRO is to do time as an Aux Operator (kind of like standing and engine room or AMR watch), then you can become an ACRO (Alternate Control Room Operator) and CRO/RO (Control Room Operator or Reactor Operator - different plants call them different things). CRO/RO are licenced positions, but are still Bargaining Unit Positions at Union plants. Then, after several yrs as CRO/RO, you may be selected by management for SRO. This whole process will probably take you at least 6 yrs (probably more since most plants are top heavy with CRO/RO types.
I once saw an individual who was hired at a plant as a Simulator Instructor. He got a Plant RO Cert (not the same as a licence) and then was selected by the plant for SRO. Since the plant had quite a few SRO's who were in their 40's and there wasn't a lot of upward mobility, this created a lot of animosity. He did not work out well as an SRO.
Another path may be to come in as a Shift Engineer and try to work your way in from there.
Good luck
« Last Edit: Apr 19, 2005, 03:15 by halflifer »

Fermi2

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Re: Senior Reactor Operator
« Reply #3 on: Apr 19, 2005, 03:33 »
Most utilities won't hire you in as a direct (Instant) SRO because you don't have any experience managing a real reactor. They used to make that mistake, but with the INPO Criteria for SRO selection fewer and fewer are going down that dangerous path.

Hire in the Engineering Department then cross over.

Mike


jasonmsmith

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Re: Senior Reactor Operator
« Reply #4 on: Apr 20, 2005, 02:01 »
I am qualified EOOW (SRO) on two different naval reactor plants, S5W and S8G.  Does Naval qualifications carry much weight in the civilian world. 

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Re: Senior Reactor Operator
« Reply #5 on: Apr 20, 2005, 02:49 »
I am qualified EOOW (SRO) on two different naval reactor plants, S5W and S8G.  Does Naval qualifications carry much weight in the civilian world. 

They carry enough weight to get you in the door, but you'll still have to work your way through the ranks to get up to SRO.
"There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge."

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Fermi2

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Re: Senior Reactor Operator
« Reply #6 on: Apr 20, 2005, 04:01 »
Read my previous post. All you've ever operated is a Start Up Source.

Most likely you can hire in as a Non Licensed Operator or in Engineering. Then work your way up or cross over.

An EOOW is not equivalent to an SRO. It's not equivalent to a Reactor Operator in a Commercial Plant.


Mike

halflifer

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Re: Senior Reactor Operator
« Reply #7 on: Apr 20, 2005, 10:27 »
Read my previous post. All you've ever operated is a Start Up Source.

Most likely you can hire in as a Non Licensed Operator or in Engineering. Then work your way up or cross over.

An EOOW is not equivalent to an SRO. It's not equivalent to a Reactor Operator in a Commercial Plant.


Mike

It seems that Mike has a sore spot with Navy Nukes but he does make a valid point. Commercial plants are much larger and complex than Navy plants......imagine my surprise when, at my first outage, I was sent to cover RCP seal removal and was told that the workers would be STANDING IN THE SEAL CAV !!!!!! :o
It's a bit like comparing a Porche to a Kenworth....a big, HOT Kenworth

Offline Nuclear NASCAR

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Re: Senior Reactor Operator
« Reply #8 on: Apr 20, 2005, 10:40 »
It seems that Mike has a sore spot with Navy Nukes but he does make a valid point. Commercial plants are much larger and complex than Navy plants......imagine my surprise when, at my first outage, I was sent to cover RCP seal removal and was told that the workers would be STANDING IN THE SEAL CAV !!!!!! :o
It's a bit like comparing a Porche to a Kenworth....a big, HOT Kenworth

I wouldn't call it a sore spot, more just telling it like it is.  He is, as I recall a former Navy Nuke. 

I'm not ex-Navy but I can second the size of things at the plant.  I used to work at a 600 megawatt dirt-burner.  I was blown away by the 1200 megawatt turbine-generator at our plant the first time I saw it. 
"There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge."

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shayne

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Re: Senior Reactor Operator
« Reply #9 on: Apr 20, 2005, 11:04 »
Yes he was former Navy Nuke.  Started at the bottom of operations and worked his way up to Shift Manager.  So he does have the background to tell it like it is.

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Re: Senior Reactor Operator
« Reply #10 on: Apr 21, 2005, 07:47 »
I'm not ex-Navy but I can second the size of things at the plant.  I used to work at a 600 megawatt dirt-burner.  I was blown away by the 1200 megawatt turbine-generator at our plant the first time I saw it. 

I can relate to that... in reverse. I worked all commercial plants, first in the 500 to 600 MW range and then on to the bigger 1100 and up monsters and then went to Big Rock Point -- 61 MW. It was like working in a toy or a scale model at best. When I got my tour and we walked past the turbine I asked 'What's that?" When my tourguide told me it was the main turbine, I didn't believe him. But what a sweet plant! Shame to see it go.

Now, with my apologies, back on topic.
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jasonmsmith

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Re: Senior Reactor Operator
« Reply #11 on: Apr 21, 2005, 11:04 »
It seems that I pissed some people off by comparing an EOOW to an SRO.  I realize that the size of the plant is significantly different, but from an operations standpoint, it seems that Naval plants require more oversight due to the constant power flucuations (transients), ie. speed changes of the submarine. 

Ultimately an EOOW is in charge of an operating nuclear reactor, same as an SRO.  He has a reactor operator working directly for him, along with an electrical operator and throttleman, along with all of the engineering watchstanders in the engineroom.  To say that an " EOOW is not equivalent to an SRO. It's not equivalent to a Reactor Operator in a Commercial Plant." seem a bit inaccurate, but what do I know. 

Looking forward to the process of transitioning from Submarines to civilian nuclear power.


Thanks for the input guys!!!!!


 

Fermi2

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Re: Senior Reactor Operator
« Reply #12 on: Apr 21, 2005, 03:59 »
OPS, I didn't mean to sound harsh. I'm hoping the Lt joins our fine industry and does well. So please don't take what I say as discouragement.

I am a former Navy nuke , and like Shayne says I started as an NLO and worked my way up. During that time I saw virtually every Navy officer we hired as an SRO fail in the position. Again, Jason has never operated anything that's greater than a startup source, A commercial Reactor Operator has forgotten more about Nukes than Jason knows at this point. The Navy teaches a bunch of miscxonceptions and presents them as fact, these officers then apply the misconceptions and end up in BIG trouble. I consider a deconner or Jr RP Tech with 1 year commercial experience more qualified to be an SRO than a Naval Officer. They know the system, they know how the industry works and they tend to be far more flexible in thought.

In fact the Navy required more oversight simply because that's the way they set up their system. Quite frankly a Naval plant is so forgiving a trained monkey could operate it. It took care of itself the plant was designed to be that forgiving and simple. . Once started up they could have gotten rid of the RO and EOOW and ran simply with a throttleman and a power meter. I was a qualified EOOW in the Navy, so I should know.

I don't mean to be harsh, I'm just telling things the way I see them, and I consider myself to be an extremely successful SRO.

Mike

jasonmsmith

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Re: Senior Reactor Operator
« Reply #13 on: Apr 22, 2005, 04:12 »
Wow Mike,

So every Naval Officer has failed in an SRO billet, I find that highly doubtful, but if such an "experienced" person says it's true, it must be.  If Naval Officers were so bad, then Nuke Plants would not actively recruit us, would they.

"A trained monkey can operate a Naval Plant" huh.  Why don't you get a clue before you start saying stupid things like this. 

Also your quote "The Navy teaches a bunch of miscxonceptions and presents them as fact".  If that was actually fact, I doubt that the DOE would certify each EOOW as a Reactor Operator.

If you were qualified EOOW in the Navy, than you must have been a Naval Officer, or a **** hot first or Chief at Prototype.  You seem to have done pretty well with a Navy background.  Why all of the hostility??

My guess is that you have never stood watch in the engineroom on a nuclear submarine while on mission.  Why don't you try to become more educated on the subject before you start spouting off at the mouth about how bad the navy is. 
« Last Edit: Apr 22, 2005, 05:17 by Nuclear NASCAR »

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Re: Senior Reactor Operator
« Reply #14 on: Apr 22, 2005, 05:21 »
Please note the forum rules which can be found here:http://www.nukeworker.com/forum/index.php/topic,4700.0.html

In particular rule #4:  4. Please learn to be respectful, tolerate and support each other. NukeWorker.com’s goal is to help others, not see how many people we can annoy. Do not initiate arguments or tension. This will only cause the triggering of other members and make this site less professional.

Let's play nice boys.
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Fermi2

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Re: Senior Reactor Operator
« Reply #15 on: Apr 22, 2005, 06:36 »
NASCAR is correct :)

I didn't mean to cause any tension.

However, I stood many engineroom watches, and at A1W quite a few EOOW watches. Compared to ERLL it wasn't all that hard to qualify.

I speak from 6 years naval experience and 15 years Commercial Experience. I've obtained RO and SRO Licenses from the NRC, and I'm curently obtaining another SRO License.

I ACED Nuke School and my RO Test. I went through 6 years of Navy training and missed ONE point on a test the whole time I was in. So when I say a monkey can operate a Naval plant I speak from experience.

I have nothing against Navy nukes. It's a great Kindergarten primer on how Nuke plants work, however the Navy teaches a LOT of misconceptions on how nuke plants work, the reason being they have to keep it simple. In the Civilian world we get the cream of the crop so we teach a lot more in depth, and teach how the machines really work.

NOTE you said the DOE certifies you as an RO. This is not the same as LICENSING you as an RO. In fact the reason the Navy Officers cannot be Shift Supervisors at the prototypes is they don't get the training necessary to obtain a DOE License. They're operating under someone elses License. A Certification is an order of magnitude below a license.

I'm not trying to cause any troubles, I'm trying to lay out for the Lt how it is in the real world. He might trake exception to this and for that I'm sory. But to compare being an EOOW to having a SRO License is preposterous at best, laughable at the minimum.

The record in the industry shows Naval Officers tend to do poorly as SROs. It's a simple fact of life. If it weren't they'd be beating down the Naval Doors recruiting short time officers. The fact they don't should tell you everything you need to know.

Mike

halflifer

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Re: Senior Reactor Operator
« Reply #16 on: Apr 23, 2005, 09:37 »
On the subject of DOE certifications, I was a NavNuc, then a contract HP, then commercial AO, ACRO. I couldn't stand the shift work so I went back to HP/RCT. I don't know what it takes for DOE to 'certify' you as an operator, but I know that all you have to do to be 'certified' as an RCT is pass one (that's right count 'em ....1) test, with no experience or proof of practical knowlege whatsoever and DOE will 'certify' you as an RCT. I sure hope it's not a similar non-process.
As for this subject, as I've said, Mike raises some good points, re: Naval vs Commercial plant ops...but I still think the Naval Nuclear Power Program gives you a good background for commercial plants.

20 Years Gone

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Re: Senior Reactor Operator
« Reply #17 on: Apr 23, 2005, 10:36 »
Sequoyah,  you managed to push almost all of my buttons.  I'll leave it for now at....
1.  I went through NPS around the same time as you did... About 19 years ago.  They had these little plaques on the walls on the Orlando NPS quarterdeck showing the top 3 GPA's for MMs, EMs, and ETs.  They must have left you off, because no one, and I mean NO ONE, ever aced NPS at that time, nor when I returned years later as an instructor.
2.  How, in a six year tour, did you get through the pipeline, go to sea, return to AIW, and qualify EOOW?  Were you a SPU who went from ERLL to EOOW?
3.  Where did you get the idea that commercial power plants get the cream of the crop as operators?

OK, LT, as I've only been out a year, and I'll readily admit that my commercial experience is limited, there is some truth to be found here in other posts.  You can certainly hire into operations in some plants, if they are hiring at all.  However, you'll have a much better chance going into system engineering, getting your feet on the ground, finding out what's what in the commercial world, then transfering into OPS as a instant SRO/RO.  There are many RO's here at Wolf Creek who've worked there way up from NLOs, then gone to License class.  Some get their degrees, then go on and go SRO, and work there way up through shift manager.  You have great experience, and although a little more complex, a reactor is a reactor.  Sure, the fuel isn't enriched, and they care about fast fission more, but reactivity is reactivity, NI's work almost exactly the same (well, ex-core) they operate with rods at the top, and control reactivity with Boron... All these things make sense to you, I'm sure, as they don't build commercial reactors on mars with this massively different technology.  I would not sell yourself short by hiring in as a NLO.  You've got the degree, and loads of experience which has a good value out here.  You have proven leadership... Also a value... But, don't close off your options and only look for a direct path to SRO... There are many ways to reach that goal.

Bill

Fermi2

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Re: Senior Reactor Operator
« Reply #18 on: Apr 23, 2005, 11:41 »
Actually they work quite a bit differently and so far as Fast Fission, no we don't care about it much more than the Navy did,

Boron and Doppler really throw things askew. You have one year in commercial reactors. I have over 15, in Operations. Reactivity is reactivity I'll agree. What you do with it is different and handling a plant in a transient is a FAR cry from the tinker toy reactors the Lt is used to operating.

I'll debate a Naval Officer has any leadership skills. But it's been said we're here to help. I used to LOVE putting newly discharged Naval "leaders" in a room full of union guys and watch them get their heads ripped off while attempting their unique brand of Leadership with people who aren't captives. I'll go this far, a Naval Lt has no leadership skills because they haven;t had a chance to practice them and aren't far above having to do as they've been told. It's the Navy way. Might as well say a Seaman Apprentice is has practiced leadership.

There is no such legal thing as an Instant RO. One must qualify as an NLO prior to getting an RO License.

I gave the Lt a proven success path to getting an SRO License. Look into Engineering. Become a good engineer and hang out with ops. Let your ears dry some, them bid over into an Operations job. Most plants, and INPO are starting to require that path for a Naval officer anyways.

And please don't try to compare running an Naval Plant to being an SRO in the commercial world. It's not even close and the officers who used to work for me will tell you the same thing. I didn't make up the trained monkey thing on my own. I got that from a Commander who got an SRO License at Fermi. His words, not mine.

Mike

JnyMac

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Re: Senior Reactor Operator
« Reply #19 on: Apr 24, 2005, 12:30 »
I'll have to agree with Mike.  Palo Verde as far as I know will not hire you in as an Instant RO/SRO.  Training only wants prior SRO licensed individuals.  They do have training guys without SRO Licenses but they do have SRO Certification.  Our ladder works like this.  You must be a fully qualified AO before they will even let you submit your name for RO class.  2 supervisors then have to recommend you for class.  You take a 100 question exam that is 50 question plant specific and 50 GFES.  Then all of our Shift Managers with input from their crews rate you on performance, professionalism, and attitude.  This combined with the test gets you in.  A point to make here is smarts, leadership skills, and a degree may not matter.  We had a guy in try to get in our last class that has a degree, 18years commercial exp. and was a Navy Officer.  He got an 87 on the entrance exam.  He was rated 18th of 18 because of his arrogance and attitude.

Offline justme

Re: Senior Reactor Operator
« Reply #20 on: Apr 24, 2005, 03:23 »
Now as to how to become one, Nine Mile in Oswego, Ny is now looking for Auxilliary operators.  They are also looking for ROs and SROs.  At most plants, you can be an AO for 10 years or more before getting a chance at RO or higher.  Here, because there is a shortage of ROs (reactor operators), it can be a fast track.  6 months AO training, about a year or so as AO, Then the oportunity to go for training to get your license as an RO.  I know some operators there that made RO in 4 years, and were asked to go on to be SRO.     Will be many retiring there in the next 5 years.  Hope this helps.  Oh, the area is similiar to the Midwest,  I grew up in Wisconsin.
It is what it is!

Offline justme

Re: Senior Reactor Operator
« Reply #21 on: Apr 24, 2005, 03:29 »
My husband is a RO, hired in about 4 years ago.  He says the degree is good, and will help alot.  Send me an email if you want more info.   
By the way, the winters here are not as frigid as the midwest, little more snow, but you can move that. 
It is what it is!

Fermi2

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Re: Senior Reactor Operator
« Reply #22 on: Apr 24, 2005, 06:24 »
Who owns NiMo now???

It's in a gorgeous area, I'll give you that. If I wasn't tired of snow, cold, and taxes  I wouldn't have minded going there.

Mike

shayne

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Re: Senior Reactor Operator
« Reply #23 on: Apr 24, 2005, 07:10 »
Niagara Mohawk?  I believe they are still in business.  They are in transmission and not power production.

Fermi2

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Re: Senior Reactor Operator
« Reply #24 on: Apr 24, 2005, 09:49 »
Oops. Back in the early 90s we called Nine Mile Point NiMo. I forgot Niagra Mohawk was somehow involved.

So who owns Nine Mile Point?

Mike

 


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