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Nuclear Reactor Operators and Technicians

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

Nuclear reactor operators are required to be licensed, based on examinations given by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The licensing process involves passing several exams, including a physical exam. To qualify for the licensing process, nuclear reactor operators must have three years of nuclear power plant experience. The first written licensing exam (Generic Fundamentals Examination) covers topics such as reactor theory and thermodynamics. Candidates who pass this exam then take a site-specific exam that includes a written section and an operating test on the power plant's simulator. Candidates who pass these tests receive their licenses. A license is valid for six years and only for the specific power plant for which the candidate applied.

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