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Entry Level Reactor/Refueling Operations Engineer

The Nuclear Operations Program is a unique career opportunity. It provides hands-on nuclear plant operations experience while building a repertoire of supervisory and managerial skills. Individuals will qualify as a nuclear plant supervisor providing participants with the theory of reactor design, related systems knowledge, and their application to the operation of a naval nuclear propulsion plant. Initial training includes six months of intense academic training at Naval Nuclear Power School in Charleston, South Carolina which requires strong technical academic background; this is followed by ten months of intense hands on training on a naval nuclear propulsion plant. Upon completion of training, individual will transfer to Ballston Spa, New York. Technical and leadership training continues as the candidate advances through various supervisory positions. Professional competence over a broad spectrum of technical fields is required to develop the engineering judgement necessary to manage complex and interrelated systems and tasks. Program participants supervise all aspects of plant operations. Major tasks include the proper daily operation of the plant and support equipment, training of Naval and KAPL personnel, and the proper execution of maintenance and testing activities. Through successful application of decision making and problem solving skills, participants will build a solid foundation of operational experience and interpersonal skills required to become successful leaders


  • BS degree in engineering or Bachelor's degree in a science related field from an accredited college or university

  • BS degree in engineering or Bachelor's degree in a science related field from an accredited college or university and completed advanced qualifications as noted in the CTE/NOP/SRE Accelerated Pay Program; or
  • MS degree in engineering or Master's degree in a science related field from an accredited college or university


Minimum overall GPA of 3.2/4.0; applicants with a minimum overall GPA of 3.0/4.0 and extensive work experience (e.g., naval or commercial nuclear, merchant marine and maritime propulsion systems, or similar industrial systems) will be considered on an exception basis. 
  • Strong academics in core engineering courses (e.g., calculus, thermodynamics, electrical/electronics, physics, materials, dynamics, statics, chemistry)
  • Ability to effectively communicate in a shipboard/prototype and instructional environments (e.g., express ideas in a clear, concise and logical manner; impart technical knowledge in an instructional environment; ability to provide clear and understandable verbal orders (face-to-face and over an announcing system) in a shipboard/prototype environment and casualty situations. 
  • Teaming (able to effectively work with a diverse group of personnel, including Navy, professional, and represented/union personnel). 

  • Problem solving (adept at applying academic skills/knowledge to solve practical technical problems). 
  • Action oriented (e.g., accepts challenges; can-do/proactive approach; self-critical).  
  • Sustained performance in high pressure situations. 
  • Demonstrated leadership abilities in guiding individuals and groups. 
  • Good time management skills.