Resident Inspector Program

The resident inspector program began as a trial program in 1974, and over the 50 years that resident inspectors have been assigned to nuclear power plants, they have directly contributed to plant safety. In March of 2024, the NRC launched a 50th anniversary year celebration of the resident inspector program. Take a look at the videos designed to recognize the value of resident inspectors and their critical role in accomplishing the NRCs mission.

The resident inspector program is a unique program that places NRC employees at operating nuclear power plants, reactors under construction, and certain fuel cycle facilities to perform inspections. Resident inspectors are highly qualified individuals that provide essential on-site verification of licensee activities to evaluate compliance with NRC regulations. There are opportunities to observe maintenance and testing activities, perform plant walkdowns to observe overall status of equipment, review corrective action documentation, and communicate issues with a variety of audiences (e.g., licensee personnel, NRC senior management, and members of the public). Resident inspectors are also responsible for responding to events and receiving allegations. These activities enable inspectors to evaluate and assess licensee performance, and the assessment is documented in publicly available quarterly reports. Resident Inspectors are the eyes and ears of the agency. The Resident inspector program overview and Resident Inspector Career video provide more detailed information about the program.

Some of the benefits that are offered to resident inspectors include pay on a special salary schedule, a retention incentive, and a relocation incentive. Since nuclear power plants are located across the country, an individual can choose to work in a variety of locations. To qualify as a resident inspector, employees participate in the resident inspector development program. The program provides the opportunity to train with experienced inspectors, perform on-the-job activities, and visit nuclear power plants. The development program also includes training at the NRC’s technical training center in Chattanooga, Tennessee. After becoming qualified, inspectors continue to receive training on an ongoing basis to maintain a high level of performance. To find out more about a challenging and rewarding career as a resident inspector, check out the resident inspector employee journey page.

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