United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment
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Operator Licensing

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What We Regulate

The NRC licenses all individuals who either operate or supervise the operation of the controls of a commercially owned nuclear power reactor or a test/research (i.e., non-power) reactor in the United States. Although the regulations in this area generally apply to both power and research and test reactors, this site focuses primarily on the operator licensing activities at power reactor facilities. For more information on research and test reactors operator licensing, please refer to Operator Licensing for Research and Test Reactors.

As of July 2015, there are approximately 4,600 NRC-licensed reactor operators in the United States.

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How We Regulate

NRC regulates the licensing of reactor operators and senior operators through a combination of regulatory requirements: initial licensing, including written examinations and operating tests; oversight of requalification training and examination programs, including enforcement. For more detail, see:

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New Reactor Operator Licensing

The NRC also licenses all individuals who either operate or supervise the operation of the controls of a new commercially owned nuclear power reactor or test/research reactor in the United States; however, there are differences in this process from that for operating nuclear power reactors. For more information on new reactor operator licensing, please refer to Operator Licensing for New Reactors.

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Page Last Reviewed/Updated Monday, May 02, 2016