Salary and Outlook
According to the US Department of Labor, there are 5,300 people employed as nuclear power reactor operators in
the United States.
The median annual salary is $104,000.
Entry level employees earn approximately $76,360 per year and senior employees earn approximately $133,170
Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.
- Authorize actions to correct identified operational inefficiencies or hazards so that operating efficiency is maximized and potential environmental issues are minimized.
- Direct the collection and testing of air, water, gas, or solid samples to determine radioactivity levels or to ensure appropriate radioactive containment.
- Direct measurement of the intensity or types of radiation in work areas, equipment, or materials.
- Identify or direct implementation of appropriate decontamination procedures, based on equipment and the size, nature, and type of contamination.
- Dispatch orders or instructions to personnel through radiotelephone or intercommunication systems to coordinate auxiliary equipment operation.
- Review and edit standard operating procedures.
- Conduct inspections or operations outside of control rooms as necessary.
- Direct reactor operators in emergency situations, in accordance with emergency operating procedures.
- Authorize maintenance activities on units or changes in equipment or system operational status.
- Supervise technicians' work activities to ensure that equipment is operated in accordance with policies and procedures that protect workers from radiation and ensure environmental safety.
- Operate nuclear power reactors in accordance with policies and procedures to protect workers from radiation and to ensure environmental safety.
- Adjust controls to position rod and to regulate flux level, reactor period, coolant temperature, or rate of power flow, following standard procedures.
- Develop or implement actions such as lockouts, tagouts, or clearances to allow equipment to be safely repaired.
- Respond to system or unit abnormalities, diagnosing the cause, and recommending or taking corrective action.
- Monitor all systems for normal running conditions, performing activities such as checking gauges to assess output or the effects of generator loading on other equipment.
- Monitor or operate boilers, turbines, wells, or auxiliary power plant equipment.
- Record operating data, such as the results of surveillance tests.
- Implement operational procedures, such as those controlling start-up or shut-down activities.
- Note malfunctions of equipment, instruments, or controls and report these conditions to supervisors.
- Participate in nuclear fuel element handling activities, such as preparation, transfer, loading, or unloading.